Over 180 parents complete UNESCO Parent Empowerment Project

NIA Charlestown Nevis — Participants of a recently concluded  United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)-funded Parent Empowerment Project will be in a better position to assist their children with the completion of assignments now that they are more familiar with the subject matter.

Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams
Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams

Junior Minister of Social Development in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams expressed that view recently when she addressed the audience gathered for a ceremony, signalling the close of the project.

The objective of the project was to empower parents of primary school-aged children, through the provision of lessons in Language Arts, Mathematics, Introduction to Computers, Character Building and English as a Second Language for parents in the Spanish-speaking community.

“I use this opportunity to applaud and congratulate you on your achievements…As evidenced by the numbers, I believe that, as parents, you saw this as a necessity and a great opportunity to re-acquaint yourselves and familiarise yourselves with what was being taught in the primary schools. For the Hispanic community, I am certain that you also saw this as a great chance to garner a better understanding of the English language,” the Social Development Minister said.

Minister Brandy-Williams commended the project’s participants for taking the time to enhance themselves in an effort to assist their children, whom she said would be extremely proud because they now know that their parents have their best interest at heart.

She also expressed the NIA’s appreciation to the several contributors to the project.

“It would be remiss of me if I did not express sincerest gratitude to the Department of Community Development under the leadership of Mrs. Janette Meloney, for conceptualising and facilitating this project. To the funding agency, UNESCO, through the Secretary General Mr. Antonio Maynard, our heartiest thanks to you and we hope that we will be working together on more projects in the ensuing years.

“I also wish to commend the members of the advisory committee who volunteered their time, their dedication to ensure that this project became a reality and a resounding success. To the facilitators, we thank you for your excellent instruction that you imparted and for your dedicated time for the duration of the programme,” she said.

Janette Meloney
Janette Meloney

According to Director of the NIA’s Department of Community Development Janette Meloney, the Parent Empowerment Project, which was launched with an official ceremony on May 03, 2013, was implemented in two phases.

“Phase 1 of the Parent Empowerment Project commenced on Tuesday the 14th of May 2013 with sessions in Language Arts followed by sessions in Mathematics on the Wednesday and English as a second language on Thursday. Although the initial response by parents was not as anticipated, except in the case of English as a second language, as the sessions progressed, interest grew and more parents joined the sessions. Special mention must be made of the Mathematics classes that were held at the Jessups Community Centre which grew from seven to 16 parents.

“Phase 2 of the project commenced on October 2013 with training sessions in Information Technology (IT) and Character Building. The IT sessions were well-received and some parents requested more sessions,” Meloney said.

The project, which, according to Meloney facilitated as many as three sessions per week in some communities, accommodated some 182 parents who were awarded certificates of completion at the January 30, 2014 closing ceremony.

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