Gadsby-Dolly: Indisciplined students are in the minority
WHILE videos and other social media posts of student indiscipline may make some people feel as though the entire education system has collapsed, Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said the reality is, only a few students are indisciplined.
At the PNM's first public meeting for this year, on Thursday night in Barataria, Gadsby-Dolly revealed that from studies done in schools on the number of suspensions and disciplinary measures, only a small percentage of students are actually misbehaving and bent on delinquency.
She said that out of 819 schools participating in a February survey, only 47 had students who were suspended three or more times since the return to physical classrooms in 2022, after the two-year shuttering of the education system because of the pandemic lockdown.
Of the 47 students, six were from primary schools and the rest from secondary schools. She also revealed that out of a national school population of 200,000, only 142 were suspended more than three times.
She said disciplining students is separated into multiple levels depending on the severity of the offence at the school. She said the Student Support Services – the first port of call – has 800 personnel to deal with school-based delinquency and indiscipline.
The St Ann's East MP revealed that annually, over 20,000 students are referred to the Students Support Services.
Gadsby-Dolly, a PNM deputy political leader, said another way of dealing with school indiscipline was identifying students who have fallen behind in their learning by way of remedial classes.
She reminded of the ministry’s remedial education programme where 80 primary schools and 26 secondary schools now have after-school remedial classes for at-risk students.
On the issue of school violence, the minister also remembered that in 2013, schoolboy Reynaldo Dixon was fatally stabbed during a fight at the Waterloo Secondary School.
In 2022, a schoolboy charged with the murder was released after a High Court judge found him not guilty, after finding that Dixon who was also armed during the altercation, was actually the one who initiated the fight which ended in him losing his life.
The minister also called on parents to take back their role in training their children in the right way.
"Gadsby-Dolly: Indisciplined students are in the minority"