Our Readers' Opinions
September 15, 2017
Parents, rally around, cheer on your children

EDITOR: Another UNESCO International Literacy Day, September 8, 2017, has come and gone. Yet it is still early days in the new school academic year 2017 to 2018. I am therefore using this forum to encourage the parents of our children in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines “to rally and cheer on” all our children under 18 years old, in positive life-long learning habits.

UNESCO’s theme and focus of discussion this year was “Literacy in a Digital World.” Here is your opportunity to not only provide your child with fancy I-phone, I-pad or computer “to bling, bling”, or keep up with the trends and neighbours, but to actually read literature, do homework, start a business, make their own notes, keep a journal, create and research information.

Parents, guardians, it is noted by UNESCO and all of us that the increasingly digital mediated society is continually changing the way we live, work, learn and socialize. However, we will not be able to make maximum use of the technology if we are not able to do the basics well – that is read, write and count. Do not let your child slip into or stay in the group of the 264 million out-of-school children on this earth who lack basic literacy skills!

Even if the State does not enforce “Education as a fundamental human right,” you enforce it in your home. Children can read the Bible and newspaper articles on their phone, practise mathematics, and find out how to do a “book review”, to name only a few things. You may not yet be as “tech savvy” as your child, but you still hold the purse strings, the house and car keys. So, set household tasks and standards that will teach money, time and life management skills. Use the recipes on the web to cook some nutritious food.

You and your child should still speak face to face and discuss things like “why we can know GOD exists; and what is my purpose on the earth?” You and your child can also research the many possible careers and income generating possibilities using the same technology. Our nation needs human resources other than doctor, lawyer, policeman and teacher. Your child may be the one to own the plumbing company that provides that service when we want to build a house or the one who brings in the shrimp, conch and fish for our tables, or the singer who soothes our troubled hearts with positive music.

Parents, guardians, “rally and cheer on our children”. Encourage and nurture their souls. No matter how they came, bless and don’t curse, harass and frustrate them. Be kind and encourage for your own sake and that of our community.

Frances A Clarke