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Saturday 18 August 2018
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Community police to tackle school violence

Education Minister Anthony Garcia.

SEETA PERSAD

EDUCATION Minister Anthony Garcia says community police will be working with the Education Ministry to quell acts of violence among school students.

In an interview with Newsday yesterday, the minister said the Community Policing Unit of the Police Service will take action where necessary.

Garcia said it appeared most of the fights took place after students left the school compound.

He said, startying today, community police officers will be on the lookout for acts of indiscipline by students on the streets.

Garcia said the ministry has been working with the TTPS for a plan to tackle acts of violence which take place outside the school compound.

“Most of the school violence highlighted in social media and on television and newspapers, happened out of the schools’ compound. Because of this, we are liaising with the Community Police to assist in curbing and quelling violence among students in schools through Trinidad and Tobago,” Garcia said.

Admitting that certain areas of the country reported higher incidents of bullying and violence, Garcia said, with this in mind, a strategic approach has to be implemented.

He explained that the comprehensive policing plan being developed will consider the intervention of community police officers as well as the current convention of school authorities discliplining students who engage in acts of indiscipline.

“There are protocols now being put in place taking into consideration that students are normally subjected to the authorities of the school. There have been incidents of breaches in security at schools, however, schools must not be seen as jails.

“The school is supposed to be a place where teachers, students, and all those who operate within it, can operate with relative ease and comfort.”

On Friday, the minister said everything was in place for the reopening of 445 primary schools and 125 secondary schools today.

“We have been working with senior officials in the ministry to ensure that when schools reopen at the beginning of each academic term, all schools are in the positions to open their doors for easy access for all our students,” Garcia said on Friday.

The minister and Chief Education Officer Harrilal Seecharan admitted that there were a sanitation issues and final touches being put in place, but they were expected to be completed by today.

The minister also boasted that the school feeding programme will see the provision of breakfast meals to over 52,000 students and lunches to 80,000 of them throughout the country.

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