JM | Oct 13, 2020

Parents urged to use helplines to quell COVID-19 unease

/ Our Today

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Kaysia Kerr, chief executive officer of the National Parenting Support Commission. (JIS photo)

The National Parenting Support Commission, an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, is encouraging parents to make use of the helplines for support from the commission.

The 36 helplines were launched in April 2020 in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Victoria Mutual Foundation and Fight for Peace.

Since its implementation, the NPSC has received several reports from parents expressing difficulty coping amid the COVID-19 pandemic and resumption of classes.

The frustration has been noticeable in a number of videos circulating in the social media space and the NPSC is concerned that this behaviour might lead to the abuse of children.

Kaysia Kerr, chief executive officer at the Commission, is appealing to parents to reach out for assistance as, “it is one of the components of the National Parenting Policy and where you are finding a difficulty you could speak to us and let us see how best we can assist”.

Kerr added: “We know there are parents who are also finding it difficult currently but let us see how we can come up with solutions because we do not want any child being unable to access education.”

The videos shared are an indication that parents are experiencing challenges and immediate intervention is needed. However, once contact is established, the individuals operating the helplines will guide callers on how to get additional assistance.

“The Ministry of Education really cares and we want to hear from you. We want to hear what the concerns are and, together, we will find solutions,” said Kerr.

There are two helplines per parish with the exception of Kingston, St James, St Ann, St Catherine and Clarendon which were given additional numbers.

The National Parenting Support Commission’s mission is to assist parents in developing the skills they need to raise and protect their children while encouraging a collaborative effort between home and school that parents and teachers may cooperate intelligently in the education of their children.



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