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Parents complain over exclusion in child rights education

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SIPHOCOSINI – Parents are ignorant on child rights because they have not been educated on them.

This was revealed by parents during dialogues on child protection held at Siphocosini High School last week.

The dialogue for parents, teachers and children was organised by Super Buddies Club in collaboration with Save The Children and PSI. The parents said this after being informed on child rights and responsibilities in a dialogue facilitated by Mandla Mazibuko of Save the Children.

“We have been left out in child rights education. We are totally ignorant and children take advantage of that. Sometimes when we ask them to prepare food, they refuse and tell us that it is their right to be given food. Today we have learnt what children’s rights and responsibilities are and what are children’s,” commented one parent during the dialogue.

Mazibuko explained to parents what child rights and responsibilities are. “It is a child’s right to be educated. But after you have paid their school fees it is the child’s responsibility to learn and pass. So when your children demand their rights, advise them to show their responsibilities,” he said.

Sponsorship Another parent complained of having secured sponsorship to further his child’s education, only to be rewarded with a bad attitude by his child. “After all my efforts the child has refused to go to school and says he is too old. What does a parent do in this instance?” he asked Mazibuko.

In reply, Mazibuko said there may be emotional needs that led to the child’s irregular behaviour. He said providing for a child did not end with food, shelter and education, but it also includes emotional needs.

The attending parents asked children to: * Listen to their parents * Respect teachers * Stay in school and commit to learning * Understand their home circumstances and not demand more than their parents can afford * Equally share in household chores * Communicate with parents on issues affecting them * Have big dreams

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