Several new strategies on stream to deal with social issues in schools – Manickchand
Social issues continue to be a growing problem locally, with younger children being involved in crime, increased teenage pregnancies and an ever-growing list.
Having recognized this, the Ministry of Education will soon be embarking on a number of new strategies which will be aimed at dealing with issues such as re-integrating pregnant teens back into the school system.
During a press briefing last Thursday, Minister Manickchand said several senior officers will be travelling to Jamaica to have a firsthand look at the situation there to see how it (re-integration) has been working. Having explored the programme in Jamaica, the officers will return with the aim of possible implementation. It was however noted that as is customary, consultation will have to be held before that and any other such programme is introduced by the Ministry.
Further, responding to the question of condoms being introduced in schools, Minister Manickchand said that too is an issue which will have to see consultation.
“This is a serious decision, but it will only come after we would have spoken to persons on a large scale, I haven’t considered it… I would never off my own, without consultation, make such a decision”. The Minister acknowledged that the Ministry and its teachers spend at least eight hours a day with students, but their parents ultimately have the last say.
“We can’t come up with that decision and that child’s parent or guardian has control over that child. We also have to acknowledge the fact that the children have rights too.”