The overall well-being of our children is of grave concern to the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, and the Carnival season is no exception. The need to demonstrate strong parental responsibility at this time is of paramount importance.
The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is a universal quote that shows the importance of enlisting help from varied sources when it comes to raising children.
Although parents are often the primary caregivers, teachers also play a vital role in helping children to grow and develop. It is therefore important that both parents and teachers remember their roles and are mindful of the examples that they set for the nation’s children during this Carnival season.
As part of our mission to educate the community, we are offering this release as a way to provide tips to our students, teachers and, specifically, to the parents of our nation (Grenada, Carriacou & Petite Martinique) during this festive period:
- Parents, be vigilant and monitor your children and their whereabouts. Know where they are at all times and with whom; keep your eyes on your children and keep them close to you. (Children should not be left to fend for/look after themselves while parents are otherwise occupied.)
- If, as parents, you must be otherwise occupied or attend one of your favorite carnival shows, please ensure that your children are secured/taken care of or left in the company of a mature, reliable and trusting adult.
- Take time to have a one-on-one or family session with your child or children to reaffirm your love for them. Give them reminders on values taught to them and how they are expected to conduct themselves/ how they should behave.
- Lay down/remind them about the law of the land and the consequences related to issues of alcohol consumption/underage drinking and violence. Tell your child, prior to the carnival activity or their outing, that he/she is absolutely prohibited from drinking and using illegal substances. (Children should be warned not to be with friends who drink and drive, or may be sleepy and driving.)
- Remind your children that after carnival, life continues and they will return to classes at school/college again.
- Encourage all young persons to avoid conflicts and to walk away from them at all times; urge them to be aware of the company they keep, their surroundings and strangers who might approach them.
- Parents should pay attention to how their children dress on leaving home and the places they may visit.
A word to all students:
- Get home at a reasonable time especially if you are left alone. Consider how you have to get home and the routine hours of the buses that travel on your route. Ensure that you have money for the bus fares to go to and fro.
- It is advised that you determine a time line to return home with your parents/guardians.
- It is also advised that you ensure your cell phones have credit so that you can contact home or vice versa, if necessary.
- If travelling in a group or in pairs, you should remain together at all times. Be aware of your surroundings, even when using the washrooms at activities. Strangers may lurk around such facilities and with loud music or noise persons will not be heard, if in trouble. Be careful walking alone to or from activities especially at late hours/ in the wee hours of the morning.
A word to all teachers:
- Teachers, especially young teachers, should be careful about their behaviour at the festivities, as their students could be in attendance. Teachers should remember that they are role models to students. Respect in and out of the classroom is important if the teacher/student relationship is to function effectively.
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