Local educators are part of a two-day training exercise which is intended to encompass techniques used to address the incidence of violence in schools.
The programme is spearheaded by the IMPACT Justice project, funded by the Canadian Government in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
IMPACT Justice has as its ultimate objective the improvement of access to justice benefiting men, women, boy, girls, youth and businesses across the CARICOM countries.
During the opening ceremony held at Pegasus Hotel in Kingston yesterday, Regional Director of the Project, Velma Newton explained that based on their research, violence in schools is one of the major issues affecting not only Guyana but other CARICOM countries.
“We would like you to introduce this concept into your daily dealings with children and your colleagues and into the curriculum of teachers’ training colleges.
“Restorative practices have been used throughout the world and particularly in North America for solving disputes at schools, and we in the Caribbean are extremely concerned about the increasing levels of violence in our schools.”
Newton explained that between 2014 and 2017, IMPACT Justice has sponsored training in Restorative Practices in 9 of the 13 CARICOM Member States in which the Project is being implemented and hundreds of principals, deputy principals, guidance counsellors, teachers, education officers and parents have been certified as restorative practitioners.
From the group of persons trained, IMPACT Justice selected 18 persons from across the region to be trained as Restorative Practices Trainers. Two of the persons selected from the group are conducting the training workshop for the educators at the Pegasus Hotel.
Deputy Chief Education Officer at the Ministry of Education, Ingrid Trotman noted that discipline in schools has become an area of concern for the Ministry.
Trotman said “as educators, we have been faced with numerous incidents where our students, parents, teachers as well as community members have been in conflict, contentions or situations that created distance between the persons involved and have warranted interventions.
According to Trotman “bullying, harassment, anti-social behaviour, and drug abuse are among the issues affecting the students.” She pointed out that when it comes to matters of tolerance, inclusion, managing emotions, building relations and using problem-solving skills, training the schools’ personnel is important.
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