Almost 5 000 students at risk

beadottin, beadottin@nationnews.com

Added 31 October 2012

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About 5 000 students in the educational system have challenges that put them in the at-risk category. Senior psychologist in the Ministry of Education, Juanita Brathwaite, said that figure fits within the ten to 15 per cent global statistics predict will be at risk. The challenges these students battle with include learning disabilities, indiscipline, social issues and bullying. Motivational speaker from the United States, Keith Brown, who is among three professionals brought in to speak at the inaugural four-day Barbados Student At Risk Conference at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, cautioned against focusing too much on those 5 000 students, however. “All 100 per cent of them are at risk, because the times in which we are living and the negatives that they are exposed to in the media and on the Internet and social media and social programming and social networking, all of them are at risk to something. “And if we just focus on the ten to 15 per cent and outcast them, we’re going to miss the others. We’re gonna miss that gifted child who has not been labelled at risk . . . . I think it’s very important that in Barbados and globally we understand that if you are a young person on the globe today, you are at risk,” Brown, who confessed to being an at-risk youth, said. (YB)

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