Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, has reiterated the call for Jamaicans to better protect children against all harm, especially the danger of fires.
This comes against the background of a series of fire-related incidents, the latest of which claimed the life of seven-year-old Amelia Williams on February 8.
“It concerns us that we have had too many of these fires, so we have to ensure that our homes are safe places for our children and that they are monitored at all times,” he said.
The Minister was speaking to journalists on February 8, following the launch of a coin drive, dubbed ‘Education Makes Cents’, at the Friendship Primary School in Spanish Town, St. Catherine, where Amelia was a grade-one student.
Senator Reid emphasised that young children must always have adult supervision, noting that it is “really disconcerting when our precious children are taken from us so soon and in such tragic circumstances”.
He added that greater effort must be made “to strengthen our capability to ensure that we better care for, nurture and protect our children”.
Senator Reid said the Education Ministry is working to increase its input in safeguarding the nation’s children, particularly through the Child Protection and Family Services Agency, “to make sure that our children are well taken care of, and that there are no vulnerable situations that our children find themselves in”.
In extending condolences to Amelia’s family and school community, the Minister expressed the hope that this latest tragedy “will inspire us to even greater resolve to make sure we protect our children from all harm and danger”.
At least six children have died in fires since the start of the year.