Fighting School Violence Is Top Priority
Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
September 05, 2010 (CUOPM)
With the start of the new school year on Monday, education authorities are rolling out a programme to prevent and reduce the incidence of violence in schools.
“Government believes that part of the solution for the incidence of violence and crime in the wider society demands a long-term approach that targets our youth in both our primary and secondary schools,” said Minister of Education Sen. the Hon. Nigel Carty, who presented the newly developed programme for Cabinet approval.
He disclosed that with the assistance of the Ministry’s newly recruited Research Psychologist, Dr. Tricia Esdaille, a “˜School Violence Prevention Guide’ has been developed.
“Some of the broad objectives of the programme are to (i) evaluate youth violence in schools (ii) develop and conduct analyses of existing policies and practice for the development of innovative violence prevention practice (iii) develop a school-based intervention programme to meet the needs of students who exhibit early warning signs of tendency towards violence and other anti-social behavior, and (iv) to conduct ongoing training for teachers and guidance counselors to diagnose and treat symptoms of antisocial behavior,” said Minister Carty who is also Minister of Information.
He said that the Education ministry’s new Research Psychologist will lead in the implementation of the system-wide violence prevention programme and oversee the ongoing work of the network of guidance counselors.
Dr. Tricia Esdaille will work alongside other senior persons in the Ministry of Education so as to help ensure full success of this critically important and timely programme of violence prevention.
“As of the upcoming school term, the Beach-Allen Primary School, our largest primary school will receive its own guidance counselor who is charged with systematically implementing our new programme very early in the term. This school needs immediate support and we are providing it. In due course, it is hoped that all of our large primary schools will have their own guidance counselor which will mean more focused intervention on our vulnerable students,” said Minister Carty.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Education is launching an Anger Management workshop for teachers on September 13, 2010.
“This is again a very critical programme that is expected to yield long-term benefits for the fight against violence and crime in our Federation,” said the Education Minister.