Career & Education

'Encourage, enable, include me'

Sunday, May 05, 2019

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In recognition of Child Month, observed annually in May, Minister of Education, Youth and Information (MOEYI) Karl Samuda has urged the public to redouble efforts to protect the nation's children both in physical and virtual spaces.

In a message disseminated to the media on Friday, Samuda argued that today's children are more precocious than previous generations due in part to advancing technologies, but are also more vulnerable, also as a result of said technologies.

“The MOEYI recognises the need to empower children, for the boys and girls of today are invariably more precocious due to the reality of the explosion in global media and influx of social media platforms. They are exposed at a much younger age to the fallacies of the adult world. Furthermore, these children are so much more technologically astute than previous generations.

“During their impressionable years, we must guard against the many predators that can be found on almost every corner – from street corners in their neighbourhoods to popular internet chat rooms. We need to redouble our efforts to ensure that they are well-guided, and that our children are learning and developing at the appropriate pace,” said Samuda.

The theme for this year's observance is 'Encourage, Enable, Include Me', a move to highlight children's right to participation, and encourage stakeholders to promote and advocate for children's inclusion in decision-making processes at all levels — at home, within the family, and in the wider community.

Among the events are on the agenda this year are a national church service, Read Across Jamaica Day, and an anti-bullying day.

“The well-being of the nation's children is at the centre of the activities, and for this reason the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information is happy to spread the message of the importance of children's rights with the celebration of Child Month,” Samuda said.

He also used the opportunity as remembrance for those children who have passed away since the beginning of the year and did not make it to celebrate Child Month.

“Let us keep them in our hearts and memories as we participate in this month's planned activities,” he said.

Child Month has been observed since 2012.

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