UNITE FOR CHILDREN-- UNICEF

Press Centre 2010/03/24: General Information

PARENTING EDUCATION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF

UNICEF Turkey Representative Reza Hossaini while making an opening speech

25 March 2010, Ankara - A “PARENTING EDUCATION” campaign is being launched to raise the awareness of parents about the benefits of receiving training on how to raise their children. The campaign is being introduced to the public under the slogan “Parenting Education: A Secure Future for Children”.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign UNICEF Turkey representative Reza Hossaini said “Parents are supposed to be the best educator of their children. Family environment is supposed to be the first line of defense for protection of children. Sadly, very often, children do not get the best start in life nor grow up in a family environment that promotes their physical and mental development. Lack of care coupled with neglect and abuse in the early years of life will have an irreversible impact on children… Empowering parents through this campaign provides children a chance to grow to their full potentials.”

During the campaign, parents will be encouraged to participate in the Parenting Education Programme which has been developed within the context of the Children First Project. This programme is being made available under the coordination of the Non Formal Education and Apprenticeship General Directorate of the Ministry of National Education. It will be implemented through the financial assistance of the European Union, the technical assistance of UNICEF and the cooperation of project partners, consisting mostly of various public institutions and organizations.

The Counsellor of the EU Delegation to Turkey, Mr Erwan Marteil said: “If children are to develop to their full potential, ongoing parental care and support through parenting is crucial. However, parents in the EU, in Turkey and worldwide may face tremendous obstacles; for instance, drug use, increased poverty, having to leave their hometown to find work, the effects of armed conflict, the effects of HIV/AIDS, etc. Parents often do not have the skills, knowledge or resources to raise children to their full potential.

A group photo at the end of the launch

The “PARENTING EDUCATION” campaign has been developed in order to ensure that children develop in every respect by increasing their parents’ knowledge of child raising. The goal is to reach 75,000 disadvantaged families in 12 priority provinces who have children aged 0-18.

The Parenting Education Programme is based on a formal curriculum encompassing a wide range of topics such as child-care, child development and learning within the family.

Minister of National Education, Nimet Çubukçu,highlighted the importance of Parenting Education programme in her opening speech, and emphasized that investments in this area (families) can bring about many improvements such as allowing families to benefit equally from health and education services, increasing primary and secondary school completion rates, and reducing the tendency to use violence. Ms. Çubukçu completed her speech by stressing that “Today I am especially excited as we have been able to take big and innovative steps in accordance with our mission of ‘providing Parenting Education programmes todifferent groups of the society through a scientific, multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral approach that is sustainable and can address the changing needs.”

As a result of the programme, parents will learn how to communicate effectively with their children and to support their mental, physical, social and emotional development. Other subjects dealt with include raising awareness towards parents with disabled children, women’s rights and sexual health. The programme emphasizes the role of the father in child raising, and calls on fathers to take part by reminding them of the importance of fathers’ support.

Parents who want to take part in parenting education free of charge may apply to Adult Education Centers, Guidance and Research Centers, Institutions of Pre-School Education, Family Counseling and Community Centers, Health Centers, Mother and Child Health and Family Planning Centers, Family and Public Health Centers, and Supervised Liberty and Guidance Centers.

PARENTING EDUCATION: SECURE FUTURE for CHILDREN

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