Councillor for the Mount Industry Division in St Catherine, the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Rogae Kirlew, is calling for the Education and Youth Ministry to embark on establishing behaviour modification schools across the country.
The schools, he said, would cater for students who attack teachers at public educational institutions.
There have been several reported instances of students being involved in violent confrontations with teachers locally, and some of the scenarios went viral on social media.
Kirlew, speaking to reporters following last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the St Catherine Municipal Corporation (SCMC), said the attack on educators by students is a serious situation that needs to be addressed.
“Where we have this trend of students attacking teachers in schools that have become bloody and to the point where we have near-death situations, I’m recommending to the Ministry of Education to have behaviour modification schools… that these children are pulled out from the normal schools and placed there with a special curriculum,” the councillor proposed.
The curriculum, said Kirlew, would be geared towards addressing behaviour and also academics.
“I think when this is done, teachers in the other schools can pretty much focus more on academics and… have a holistic development for those students,” he stated.
Kirlew claimed that other jurisdictions across the Caribbean have established similar schools, and said the Jamaican Government can similarly do so as a means of addressing the perennial issue of violence in schools.
“As a matter of fact, the Government should have been doing this long ago. They are very late,” he insisted.
Meanwhile, Kirlew also called for the ministry to establish special schools where students’ skillsets can be specially developed.
“There are schools across the Caribbean, (and) across the world, where students who have different skillsets are placed there.
“They don’t really wait until they are at college and university. So if the students are good in football, whatever sports, they have those schools for it,” he explained.
“So, that’s the direction our ministry needs to go into; behaviour modification schools and also schools… where our students (who) are very much talented can be sent to…,” Kirlew shared.
To the credit of the Government, in November of last year it announced that it is moving ahead with plans to construct Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) schools across the country, with the first such institution to be built in St Ann.
The development of such schools are geared toward improving the educational outcomes within the STEM areas locally, the Government declared.