DR Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, MP and former university lecturer, was not always a beacon of good conduct, he revealed publicly yesterday (Tuesday.) At the launch of the ministry’s Revised School Code of Conduct at Government Campus Plaza, Port of Spain, he related tales of childhood cheekiness before his climb to academic and professional success.
“I got As but my conduct was C or D,” he recalled.
His mother was summoned to school after one incident, only to be told by the principal, “Lovell is misbehaving, Lovell doesn’t listen and Lovell wants the children to follow him.”
Francis said he had dared tell his mother he wanted everyone to follow him as he was the “brightest person in the clas-room.”
He later told Newsday he had been misbehaving because he was not being excited by the work set.
The solution? He was promoted from Standard Three to Standard Five in primary school in one fell swoop to be given more challenging work. That led to an improvement and the start of a successful career, he added.
Francis told the anecdote to show that pupil misconduct has always occurred, but admitted that today’s pupils exist in very different environments of home, school, community and general socialisation.
He saw the code as a crucial document to intervene in today’s critical environment in schools, but added that balance is needed. “It can’t be control, control, control, but it can’t be laissez-faire. We should be in the business of producing citizens.”