One hundred fathers were today honoured and encouraged to take up their responsibility and play an integral role in the life of their child or children particularly as it relates to their education.
This advice was given at the Father’s Appreciation Forum held at the Latchmansingh Primary School Auditorium, Bush Lot Village West Coast Berbice in recognition of father's day that will be observed on Sunday June 16, 2019.
The event was organised by the Schools Welfare Unit of the region’s Department of Education.
Delivering the feature presentation was the Chief Education Officer (CEO), Dr. Marcel Hutson who told the fathers that the sign of a father or man is the embodiment of one word, responsibility.
He said that the male is the foundation. Using the Hebrew word for father, Abba, Dr. Hutson said that fathers have to be the source and provider. He advised the fathers that they should seek out those other men who may not have been doing a good job at being a father and inform them on how they ought to conduct themselves.
According to the CEO, there are men who invest time and money in other activities but would not invest in the education of their children and encourage them to perform well in school.
“Whatever comes out of you, must be sustained. A father is supposed to support. For you to make an impact you have to be present”, Dr. Hutson noted.
He urged the men that they need to take back their leadership position, go back to their families and impart wisdom, teach and train.
According to the Senior Schools Welfare Officer of the region, Mrs. Gloria Davidson-James, the aim of today’s activity was to foster continued collaboration with the fathers, enhance parental involvement and encourage fathers to be involved in their children’s academic lives.
She said that evidence has shown that when fathers are integrally involved in the life of their child, there are certainly positive outcomes such as better self-esteem, more self-discipline and children show higher aspirations and motivation towards school and are more likely to graduate.
According to Mrs. Davidson-James, seventy-two fathers were chosen from the various schools across the region for their involvement in the academic life of their child or children and in the respective schools while the remaining 28 were chosen based on their involvement in the work done by the Welfare Unit to bring about positive change within the region.
Meanwhile, the Regional Education Officer (REdO), Mrs. Deon Lyn Lewis-Clarke said that the Department of Education continues to partner with the community hence the theme for the occasion being: “Empowering and repositioning fatherhood – Enhancing the standards and security of families.”
She said that the activity was an opportunity to make fathers feel special and let them realise that their contribution to the school is valued. “It shows that they are supportive to the schools and involved in their child’s all-round development”, the REdO said.
The Regional Executive Officer (REO), Mr. Ovid Morrison in his remarks stressed the importance of good fathers extending themselves to those fathers that may not yet understand the role that they should play in the development of their children.
He said, “let us work collectively to change the stigma that exists in society that fathers are simply sperm donors. Let us by our own involvement with our children change that perception that is in society. We may encourage those that are hesitant to get involved. We would see the results and the results will manifest itself in prime areas, crime reduction, substance abuse and early childhood pregnancy.”
Moreover, the Deputy Regional Executive Officer (DREO), Mr. Sherwyn Wellington said that it is a privilege to be a father. He said that fathers need to do more than making children and taking home cheques. The DREO advised that fathers need to play a more integral role in their children’s upbringing by sharing interests, skills and creating memories with them.
One father, Mr. Carlton Morris, a retired Sergeant of the Guyana Defence Force said that after leaving the GDF, he began working in the mining industry. However, he realised that he hadn’t spent a lot of time with his older children and made a conscious decision to go back home to spend time with his four children.
Since missing out on some time with his older children he decided to be more involved his younger child by ensuring he enquires about school and assist with homework.
Agreeing with the DREO, he said, “Paycheque is not all. Spend time with your family and your children. I am happy being with them.”