A National Day of Prayers for the nation’s youth is being planned by the Ministry of Social Development to aid them in beating the odds and growing to become wonderful men and women in society.
That’s the word coming from Minister of Social Development and Member of Parliament for St. Andrew North-west, Delma Charles-Thomas.
She made the announcement against the backdrop of recent disclosures that students from two leading female secondary schools on the island were engaged in vulgar pornographic pictures on the Internet.
Much of the attention has been focused on a student who is the daughter of a senior member of the current government.
Addressing reporters Tuesday at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing, Minister Thomas said she believes that the family structure in the country has broken down and there is need for God to put a hand in every situation that concerns the family.
“We are planning a national day of prayer for our children and everyone of you here must accept the fact that we can come in the room here and talk to the children and say to you let us combine our efforts to do all those things but …. if we don’t allow God to lead or direct our path we are speaking in vain”, she said.
“All the work that we are talking about, if we do not let God lead our way, we are not going to achieve our objective and therefore we believe that we have to redirect our families,” she added.
The female government minister noted that there are many issues of technology that confront children and that everyone has to work together to protect them against that kind of problem.
“It’s really not an easy road to be able to deal with. Maybe we never envision that we would have to deal with that serious issue today and therefore, we really have to double our efforts and we would assure that from the Ministry’s standpoint that we are unable to do it alone and therefore we would need all stakeholders”, she told reporters.
“…I say all because we need to work with parents because parents have their responsibilities, they have their role, the children too have their responsibilities and their role, the NGO’s have theirs, the media also have theirs and therefore we’re calling on the media to work along with us in terms of our educational programmes to help to teach our young people how to use technology in a wise way,” she said.
Minister Thomas cautioned the media that they should be careful in the way they put out stories such as the one in question with the secondary school students as it can have lasting effects on everyone.
“Over the last week we have been dealing with this issue, let us not focus on the schools but let us focus on the issues that confront our children…”, she remarked.
“…If you do your research, you would realise that mostly all schools, we have issues with our children as it relates to the use of technology and therefore the onus is on us to provide education to see how we can work together, how we can come up with strategies to deal with those issues that confront our children…”, she said.
The government minister called for the support of the entire nation on the issue since “this is beyond partisan line”.
“…We are talking beyond any church, any religious line here, we are talking about anyone who truly believe in our children and the rights of our children to working together to protect them at all cost, in every issue,” she said.
Minister Thomas indicated that there are many issues other than technology affecting young people and they need to be addressed by the coming together of the nation.