Focus on Safe Schools Too – Dr. Walden


Dr. Cecile Walden, principal of the Sam Sharpe Teacher’s College in St. James, has called on the implementers of the Safe Schools Programme, not to concentrate their efforts solely on problem-plagued schools, but to strive to maintain the safe atmosphere in the institutions not experiencing any problems.
“We have been focusing on high risks schools but we have to (focus on) the normal schools, the schools that seem not to have anything going wrong, to ensure that nothing goes wrong. We have to maintain those safe schools as safe schools, and we need to look at what those safe schools are doing to maintain safe schools”, she said.
Dr. Walden, who was giving the main address at a national safe school symposium held at the Wyndham Rose Hall Hotel recently, noted that the level of violence in some institutions placed them at risk of being categorized as hostile environments.
As part of the solution to the problem, the educator called for greater partnership among education stakeholders with increased focus on inculcating proper values and attitudes in students. She noted also, that every institution must have at least one guidance counsellor, to address problems that children may face. She said that the school environment should not be regarded as just the physical, but should also include the emotional, the intellectual and the social.
Dr. Walden further pointed out, that each school had its peculiarities and the Safe Schools Programme must therefore be an inclusive one. “Remember, it takes a community to raise a child, so the parents and the communities have a role to play in this programme”, she said.

JIS Social