Sat | Aug 17, 2019

Terrelonge urges teachers, parents to discipline with care

Published:Thursday | May 23, 2019 | 12:15 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Alando Terrelonge, minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
Alando Terrelonge, minister of state in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

Western Bureau:

Alando Terrelonge, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, is calling on parents, early childhood practitioners, and other caregivers to apply discipline with love to the children in their care, saying that to do otherwise would amount to corporal punishment.

“Discipline must be taken from the viewpoint of uplifting, of learning, of teaching, of encouraging, and of showing our children that there is another way. So when we scold our children, let us scold them with love. When we discipline them, let us discipline them with love,” said Terrelonge.

Terrelonge was delivering the keynote address at Tuesday’s Early Childhood Commission‘s annual Professional Development Institute and Awards Ceremony at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St James.

According to the state minister, research has shown that children between the age of two and four years old are the most vulnerable and, therefore, most abused by parents and other caregivers.

“There is also a shared view that at some point, as a society, we must reach that level of thinking that says that corporal punishment is an abuse of our children and that at some point, it must end,” said Terrelonge.

“... Discipline must not be taken from the viewpoint to disparage, to dehumanise, or to otherwise punish children to the point of physical, or verbal, or psychological abuse,” continued Terrelonge.

According to the state minister, the time has come to stop treating children with indifference as they are not insignificant and are deserving of attention.

“It is time that we start seeing children as human beings and not just as small, insignificant objects, who should be left in a corner and not to be seen and not to be heard. Those days are over,” said Terrelonge.

“If we are serious about the Fourth Industrial Revolution, then we must be serious about our children, recognising that they, too, have a place within the home, that they too can teach us things, and we should allow their imagination to run wild because it will make for more creative and ingenious, young adults,” added Terrelonge.