The Full Story
The Ministry of Education and Youth is in the process of implementing a programme to replace defective hand-held metal detectors in schools.
Portfolio Minister, Hon. Fayval Williams, made the announcement during her contribution to the 2022/23 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on April 12.
The announcement comes in the wake of an audit, conducted by the Ministry, of hand-held metal detectors that were provided to all high schools.
Mrs. Williams said a similar audit is being done for the 27 high schools that were provided with walk-through metal detectors. Another nine are being installed in selected schools.
Aided by the use of these technological devices, Mrs. Williams said schools resumed searches of students on entry and randomly throughout the day.
“We have given schools a Safety and Security Policy document and we expect that schools will abide by the procedures, especially as they relate to searches. The Policy document describes what is a search and under what conditions you can have searches,” she said.
She further informed that some schools will be getting closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance systems to improve school safety and security.
Meanwhile, the Ministry is also working closely with its partners to improve safety and security within the nation’s schools.
These include the Community Safety and Security Branch of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, not only to support schools to conduct searches, but also to improve the visibility of the police in targeted spaces after school and at the transport centres.
Also, the Ministry of Justice is to provide restorative practices training to teachers, student leaders and parents as a tool to manage conflict.
In addition, the Education Ministry is working with the Ministry of National Security to provide case management services to students, particularly those attending schools located within or serving the Zones of Special Operations.
The National Council on Drug Abuse is also being brought on board in response to increased use and confiscation of drugs since the full resumption of school.
Also, some 55 additional School Resource Officers from the Jamaica Constabulary Force are being deployed to schools under the Safe Schools Programme in the Police Area One, which consists of Trelawny, St. James, Hanover and Westmoreland.