Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Women, Youth and Children Affairs, Ethel Sigimanu made the appeal yesterday.
She was giving the keynote address at International Children’s Day in Honiara.
“The theme for this year’s International Children’s Day celebration is about changing a child’s life,” Mrs Sigimanu said.
“It is about us parents, teachers, the government, churches, civil society organisations, communities taking responsibility to support our children grow up healthy, prosperous and to be successful in life.”
Mrs Sigimanu said our children are our greatest resource; and the future of our country depends upon the education of this great resource.
“Education as we must all know is a right, not a privilege and many children are aware of this.
“Ask any child what they want in life and the answer we will always get is ‘to be educated’.
“Today, Honiara is a melting pot and with that comes many challenges including the ever increasing need for more schools..
“I must say I admire the strength and resilience of our teachers as I am sure providing education to thousands of children in the city has come with a lot of sacrifices as well.
“But having access to schools is one thing, ensuring that the life of the child is safe and secure is quite another.
“It is no use educating a child if we can’t deal with their safety and security,” Mrs Sigimanu said.
She added children value a safe and nurturing environment; children desire to be respected and some expressed concern at poor parenting, abuse and negligence.
“The need for protection from harm, violence and dangerous drugs, and the right to be guided by parents and for adults to work in their best interest including their desire to be comfortable in their homes, communities and the environment is important.
“Nearly half of our citizens are children, they are also expecting action for their development.
“Thus, we need to approach children’s development holistically and focus on all the important elements which makes a child complete.
“Providing every child access and quality education is one sure way.
“A child’s right to survival, protection, participation and development must be secured.
“This is the only option if Solomon Islands future is to be healthy and prosperous, safe and secure as we desire it to be.”
Mrs Sigimanu said there is a need for all of us to work together so as to dream together, to visualise together and to operate based on common vision for our children
“And I am sure every other authority and institution is also active in committing themselves to address the needs of our children, the Government is taking leadership to uphold the rights of our children through implementation of the CRC.
“As a saying goes ‘a child is parent to the adult’, this reminds us that tomorrow’s adults grow out of today’s children.
“Thus I urge you all that the well-being of our children of today and the children of future generations must continue to be our central focus.”
By Bradford Theonomi
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