From left: Parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Education Senator Harcourt Husbands
The Ministry of Education is set to speed up the implementation of security measures to ensure schools are institutions of learning and not violence.
So said Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Senator Harcourt Husbands who yesterday spoke to the DAILY NATION following the stabbing of two St Leonard’s Boys’ School students yesterday.
“What this incident today emphasises is the critical nature of the issue confronting us and that we should move even more speedily to put in place whatever measures are in the best interest of the school to protect the teachers, the students and all the people who use these compounds legitimately,” Husbands said as he spoke at the ministry headquarters yesterday.
Last Friday, Minister of Education Ronald Jones said the ministry would be enlisting assistance from the police to secure schools following the stabbing of three 15-year-old Grantley Adams Memorial School students at school.
At the time, teachers said they were pushing for students involved in violent incidents to be expelled as teachers were extremely concerned for their safety.
While explaining there was a process to expulsion, Husbands said it may be an unavoidable result of the school stabbings.
“For all disciplinary procedures in the school involving students, there’s a procedure; one that the ministry likes to follow and follow clearly as set out in the Education Act,” Husbands said.
“But as I keep saying, speaking generally, it is difficult to see how persons involved in situations like these will continue their education at the same institution,” he added.
Also present at yesterday’s meeting was police public relations officer Acting Inspector Roland Cobbler, who said any attempt to solving the ongoing violence would require a multi-factorial approach.
He also reiterated the importance of parents’ participation in whatever measures were taken.
“It will entail a multi-dimensional approach which will involve not only the ministry and the criminal justice system, but of course other governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as the parents,” Cobbler said.
“Parents must realise they have an important role to play in this process. No longer are parents working as closely with the school system as they ought to, that’s why we see some of these problems manifesting in our society today,” he said. (AD)