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  • Come September, students at the Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School in Kingston will benefit from a behaviour modification programme that is aimed at addressing antisocial tendencies.

Come September, students at the Cockburn Gardens Primary and Junior High School in Kingston will benefit from a behaviour modification programme that is aimed at addressing antisocial tendencies.

Dubbed ‘Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) Behaviour Modification Programme’, the initiative is designed to proactively identify students with behavioural problems and recommend intervention to effectively deal with the issues.

It is being undertaken by United Kingdom (UK)-based Social Work Company ‘One Step Forward Consultancy’.

Speaking during the launch at the institution’s Hagley Park premises, today (June 19), Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, said the programme will support the Government’s behaviour modification programme, which seeks to improve academic performance and develop well-rounded students, who adhere to wholesome values and attitudes.

She said the success of the ASEBA will require the involvement of everyone and urged parents to cooperate with the school and to express interest in having their child analysed.

“What is being done here today will have a far-reaching impact on improving the well-being of our students. We must make every effort to prepare the next generation for a successful future,” she said.

Statistics from the Ministry of National Security show that 3,671 students were recorded to have displayed antisocial behaviour of varying degrees during the 2012/13 academic year.

The Prime Minister lauded the organisers for implementing the one-year programme at the school and for offering to train the staff to guarantee a smooth implementation and long-term success.

“This programme will benefit the school, the community and the nation at large. Investing in our children’s education is investing in the future of our country,” she said.

Acting Principal of the school, Patricia Findley, said the programme will be used to assist students and teachers “as we collaboratively work to ensure the behavioural and academic needs of our nation’s children are satisfied effectively.”

“Educating young minds is our business. We accept the challenges that are present and move forward accepting any resources that are available to allow us to ensure mastery of these tasks,” she said.

The programme is in keeping with the Ministry of Education’s focus on behaviour management in schools, and takes into account relevant aspects of the organisational framework for education outlined in the Education Act.

ASEBA provides psychosocial assessment of students, particularly those who display academic and behavioural challenges.

The system is used to provide a behavioural profile so that the appropriate interventions can be designed to meet the specific needs of the child.

It will inform practitioners on the adaptive functioning, internalisation, externalisation and total problems of students.

‘One Step Forward Consultancy’ implements projects to enhance the lives of Jamaican children through its Every Child Matters project.