The Ministry of Education, earlier today, issued a statement warning parents and guardians that they have a duty to ensure their children attend school regularly saying failure to do so could result in criminal charges being filed against them.
“The Ministry of Education’s School Welfare Service will be taking this matter of absenteeism seriously and will enforce the law as inscribed in the Education Act 39:01”, the ministry warned.
Following is the full statement:
The Ministry of Education wishes to remind parents and guardians of the importance of ensuring that children attend school regularly and that it is their duty to help their children receive the best possible opportunity for an education.
Numerous studies show the link between academic performance and consistent attendance, which is so critical for the quality of a child’s education. Research suggests that children who are frequently absent from school are more likely to become involved in, or be a victim of crime and anti-social behaviour.
Through the Ministry of Education, the Schools Welfare Officer’s main responsibility is to look into absenteeism. In an effort to reduce absenteeism, the welfare department will continue to conduct Truancy campaigns and school and home visits to ensure that children attend school regularly.
Children between the ages of 5 years 9 months and 15 years are required by law to receive an education, and it is the duty of parents, guardians and caregivers to ensure that they are supported to do so.
The Ministry is aware that children are sometimes absent from school because of medical reasons which sometimes extends for a long period. In such cases, parents and guardians are encouraged to make every effort to inform the school of the reason (s) for the child’s absence. In the event that parents fail to notify the school of the child’s absence, the school is required to notify the Schools Welfare Department at the Ministry of Education or any Regional Department of Education who would then issue an ‘attendance notification’ to parents. Schools are required to take such action when a child is absent for five (5) or more days.
This attendance notification gives the parent notice that the student has accumulated too many unexcused absences and gives the parent an opportunity to visit the Schools Welfare Department to make the necessary steps to ensure that the child’s attendance record improves. If this step does not reap the desired results, a court warning would be issued notifying the parent of the potential summon to be filed in the magistrate court. Parents are likely to be criminally charged or fined if their child has unexcused absences.
The Ministry of Education’s School Welfare Service will be taking this matter of absenteeism seriously and will enforce the law as inscribed in the Education Act 39:01.
A child should attend school for at least thirty (30) sessions per month.
The success of your children depends on the parent.