January 10, 2007
Premier and Minister of Education on Nevis Hon. Joseph Parry, appealed to school principals and teachers and senior education managers on Nevis to uphold discipline at all cost in the island’s schools. He said in order to harness discipline from the students, they too should be models in that area.
Mr. Parry was at the time delivering the feature address on January 09, 2007 at the commencement of the final training workshop on managing productive schools under the theme “rising the Standard through continuing Professional Development and Training”. The event which brought together 33 principals and senior managers and 11 education officials was hosted by the Department of Education on Nevis.
“You have to get them [students] to understand what education is all about and the power of education and you have to be professional. You have to be professional in your management principals, in how you conduct yourself, in your behaviour in front of them”¦ I would say this though, even on the street you have to be aware that children are watching you. So conduct yourself in a particular way that they can continue to respect you. I will say this, that you in turn must make them conduct themselves properly,” he said.
The Minister of Education referred to a practice in which secondary school students wore their uniforms in less than desired styles outside of the school’s compound, a practice that was imported through the media and otherwise, which he said should be addressed vigorously by the school’s managers.
“I understand that the high school children when they leave school the boys have to take their shirts out of their pants and they have to lower their pants to impress their friends on the road and they have to conduct themselves in a particular way. Do not stand for it! The school uniform must be respected and should be respected.
“I don’t care that they do not have any uniforms in the United Sates of America that is their business. Our business is that we have certain standards and certain principals and the school uniform is to be respected and the children must be told that on the first day of school in fact maybe even before the first day of school and you should insist,” he said.
Mr. Parry advised the school leaders to make it their business to be in touch with what happens on the school compound and in the community and cited that they should not be restricted to desk work
“Do not believe that you should be tied down to your desk, even I know I should not be tied down to my desk that is not good management. You need to know what’s happening around you, you need to be told by people but you need to see for yourself.
“You need to be out there, you need to visit classrooms you need to be outside on the school compound, you need to look at what is happening when they [students] are going too and from school and what’s happening in the community. You need to be in touch, you need to know and if you know, there is much you can do to help yourself and to help the society,” he said.
He said the Nevis Island Government had a number of initiatives tailoured toward the youth in an effort to deter them from a life of illiteracy, delinquency and crime. He explained that the Nevis Island Administration had approached education in a manner that was very important to the people of Nevis.
“We educate to try to give value to people for them to be able to make a contribution to society but now we also have to educate to ensure that we can minimize crime and try to remove that tendency towards delinquency and crime,” Mr. Parry said.
The workshop’s facilitators included Mrs. Elenora Phillip Learning Support Coordinator of the Curriculum Development Unit (CDU), Mr. Joseph Wiltshire Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Library Services, Dr. Robert Chadderton Financial Consultant, Mr. Clyde Christopher President of the St. Kitts Teachers Union, Ms. Londa Browne School Librarian and Dr. Bronte Gonsalves Advisor, Department of Education.