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‘Early education’ key to less crime


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‘Early education’ key to less crime

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THE RECENT UPSURGE in criminal activity among young people in Barbados is making trade unionist and president of the Democratic League of Women, Yvonne Walkes, think that the problem lies in early childhood education.
And she is calling on people “who work at day care centres to be trained in parenting and personal development skills” in order to “transmit virtues to the children”.
“Children are going into day care centres very early and the centres must assist in preparing the children [for adulthood].”
She said many of the children were in the hands of day care for more than eight hours and facilitators should adopt the role of parents.
Walkes said the recent attacks – not only on Senator Irene Sandiford-Garner, who was injured while sitting in a car park, but on the average Barbadian – point to a crime situation that was getting out of hand.
“I am suggesting that we deal with our children at a very early age in order to reduce the motivation [for crime] that young people will have as adults.”
Walkes, speaking to the MIDWEEK?NATION, was of the view that training was part of the recruitment process in dealing with supervision at day cares, but she is also calling for “a more structured and organized approach”.
“If we have day care centres springing up everywhere, one cannot guarantee that a person who works there will be trained to deal with children.
“I am not talking about the [legal] structure because that will come under health care and fire safety as part of the institutional behaviour.
“I am calling for a grounding of the children so as to prevent them [from graduating to crime].”
She also said children must not be made to think that they could get away with crime at the expense of others.
“When they become teenagers, some of them may still be stuck in their childhood years – an indication that they might not have passed comfortably through the development of childhood and they are suffering from a number of things and do not know how to deal with them. The children are crying out for help and they go where they feel they can survive.”
“People nowadays feel that if you are so-called confident, you can be unmannerly; you have to have confidence going in the right direction, not behaving as you like.
“That is why I speak about ‘virtues’, not values, because people have different value systems,” said Walkes. (JS)
 

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