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Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves (Photo: Lance Neverson)

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent – The new fashion fad for some women in this country, imported from the ghettos of America, is being financed, in some instances, at the expense of the nation’s children, according to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.

“There are some parents in St. Vincent and the Grenadines — not just in Canouan — who want to abandon their obligation to … educate their children,” Gonsalves said on Canouan on Friday.

His comments came as he discussed the challenges to his government building a school on that Southern Grenadines island.

Gonsalves emphasised that the welfare department helps disadvantaged students, including those on Canouan, but said some Vincentian parents need to be more responsible.

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“They have two and three cellphones in the home but they can’t buy a shoe for the child. They spend so much money on frivolities,” Gonsalves said even as he acknowledged, “A man must be able to spend his money on whatever he wants.

“But don’t spend your money on frivolities and then you coming and tell me you want every single cent — I must buy the shoe for the child, I must buy the schoolbook for the child and I have a schoolbook programme where you can go and get them … for $50.

“… But everyday you’re buying a $10 cellphone card. And those who ain’t doing that, the new fad — it use to be hairstyle, … but you can’t leave here and go to town and do all your nails and all your toes with all the pretty polishes … just like you have in the ghetto in America, yo imitate that and you can’t buy a shoe for your child and yo coming to talk to me otherwise?” said Gonsalves, who is also Minister of Finance.

“We have to talk about individual responsibility of parents,” Gonsalves further said.

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