Fathers urged to play a greater role in children’s growth – Toddlers’ Reading Programme taken to Linden
DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Fathers were today urged to get more involved in the growth and development of their children, as the Ministry of Social Protection, Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) launched its Back to Basic: Toddlers’ Reading Programme at the One Mile Health Centre, Linden, Region Ten (Upper Demerara- Berbice).
The programme is aimed at promoting early reading for children from birth to three years of age.
According to CPA’s Director, Ann Greene, most often the mothers are present throughout a child’s life; while the fathers, though present, do not spend sufficient time with the children.
“We have to get back at the time when children learn to read on the laps of the parents. I encourage the nurse to invite the fathers because the children need them. It is a normal process, it must happen. How can a child really develop if that child doesn’t know how to read?”
The Director noted that the programme was conceptualised after it was recognised that most of the children who entered the welfare system were unable to read. Green added that reading is a developmental process that must occur at an early stage, hence the need to ensure all health centres and child care facilities are equipped with a library or reading corners.
During brief remarks, Regional Chairman, Renis Morian said that there needs to be a change in the way persons approach literacy. He also noted that it is imperative that fathers play their role in ensuring that their children receive the necessary foundation that will prepare them for formal education.
Morian added that while the programme teaches the child to read, it is important that the children are also taught how to express themselves.
Linden’s outgoing Mayor, Carwyn Holland who lauded the initiative, said that it is important that children learn to appreciate books and reading stories from a very early age since it is crucial to their development and ability to comprehend words.
A mobile library was also unveiled at the Health Centre and the distribution of books for toddlers attending the clinic.
The Back to Basics: Toddlers’ Reading programme is expected to be established at over 300 health centres and 360 childcare facilities across the country. The childcare centres will also be required to establish a library or reading corner for the children.
By: Synieka Thorne