IN JAMAICA: Children, Jaheen and Aaliyah Harris, ages seven and five not sent to school for two years....Father says efforts hampered by lack of documentation

BY KIMBERLEY HIBBERT Staff reporter  Sunday, October 25, 2015    
ANTONIO Harris is a broken man and he's saddened that since the death of his children's mother, Sophia Johnson in 2014, he has been unable to get them into school.
Antonio Harris and his children Jaheen and Aaliyah hold candles at
a vigil held at the Pechon Street car park in Kingston to mark the 150th
 anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion. (PHOTO: BRYAN CUMMINGS)
When the Jamaica Observer spoke to Harris last week at the vigil held at the Pechon Street Car Park in Kingston to mark the 150th anniversary of the Morant Bay Rebellion, he said that as a single father he tries his best to earn his bread honestly and support his children Jaheen and Aaliyah Harris, aged seven and five.
But, when Johnson died he could not locate the children's birth certificate or immunisation records, which have caused him a great drawback. Harris further explained that they didn't live together and from what he's seen the children have been out of the education system for almost two years.
"I never lived with her when she was alive and people would always tell me that she would leave them and go away all the while, go about her business. I don't even know the school they were going to," he said, lamenting how his child's mother cared for their children.
However, when he chose to visit them last year, he received bad news.
"Someone told me she was sick and I went to the hospital and saw her with tubes through her nose. She couldn't walk or talk, she was just there," Harris said. "When I went back to visit her on December 11, 2014, I heard that she died."
It was at this point that he made efforts to get them into school, but this proved futile -- the necessary documents could not be found. To make matters worse, Harris said that in an attempt to get the birth certificates, checks at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital revealed that there were no records of the children being born there.
"Jubilee no have no evidence seh is down there dem born. It look like she never register them any at all," he said.
Opting to try another route, Harris said he spoke to a school teacher on August 16, 2015 who offered to help. But since that day, he is yet to see or hear from her. more


  1. I have firsthand experience of this problem. I am glad someone is finally shining a light on it. This is a govermental disgrace. Why are kids being denied school because they don't have papers. In cases like that, the government should be the ones making it easier to obtain those papers, not harder.

  2. It's a part of the 'keep them dunce' mentality of the g overnment. No education means easy votes because you have no idea what is going on around you.

  3. Where was this deadbeat dad when the mother was alive. Why is he knocking the mother who obviously did everything for these 2 children. It's sad to say that if the mother did not die he would not be around. With that being said I do hope that Jamaica change their policy and get these wonderful children in school immediately. Just a mess all around in these children lives. May God bless them


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