Gopee-Scoon: Ministerial committee examining school violence

Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon.
Senator Paula Gopee-Scoon.

ACTING leader of government business in the Senate Paula Gopee-Scoon said on Monday an inter-ministerial committee is working to develop a policy to deal with violence in schools.

She was responding to a question from Opposition Senator Wade Mark in the Senate on Monday.

"An analysis of the data on school violence has identified 16 secondary schools that have the highest rates of school violence."

Gopee-Scoon said seven of those schools showed certain characteristics.

"High percentage of form one students who scored under 30 per cent in the SEA (Secondary Entrance Assessment), high levels of indiscipline, high absenteeism and low levels of CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) achievement."

She said an inter-ministerial committee is working with the Education Ministry and other stakeholders to develop "a national school infraction rubrick."

National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds, Youth Development and National Service Minister Foster Cummings, Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister Ayanna Webster-Roy, Sport and Connunity Development Minister Shamfa Cudjoe and Social Development and Family Services Minister Donna Cox are members of this committee.

The committee is supported by a technical team which includes representatives from the police and the Tobago House of Assembly.

Gopee-Scoon said the committee held three meetings to date (February 28, March 21 and April 24).

A report from the committee was sent to the Education Ministry and oher stakeholders on June 14 for review.

Gopee-Scoon said there was a subsequent meeting where the committee received feedback from the ministry and stakeholders. Their comments are being incorporated into the committee's final document which will be submitted to Cabinet this month.

In response to another question from Mark, Gopee-Scoon reiterated comments made last week by Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly about a vacation revision programme for 9,000 students who scored under 50 per cent in this year's SEA.

At a news conference at her ministry's Port of Spain office on July 1, Gadsby-Dolly said this programme would be held at 26 secondary schools across the country from July 8 to August 12.

Gopee-Scoon said 600 primary and secondary school teachers are being recruited to conduct these classes between 9 am and 2 pm, on the days mentioned by Gadsby-Dolly.


"Gopee-Scoon: Ministerial committee examining school violence"

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