JIS News

Minister of National Security, Hon. Dwight Nelson, has said that the Government’s Safe School Programme has been successful in the schools in which it has been tested.
He said that, based on this success, he will be signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Education to expand it to other institutions.
“I will be signing an MoU with the Ministry of Education to deal with safety in schools, so that schools do not continue to mirror the communities in which they operate,” the Minister stated. He was speaking at the Jamaica Chamber of Commerce’s (JCC) Board of Directors meeting, Tuesday (September 15).
Senator Nelson said that both the Ministry of National Security and the Ministry of Education have already agreed on the parameters of the programme.
“What we are really doing is to try and replicate the successes that have occurred in certain schools, we are trying to expand it and intensify the involvement of the Ministry of National Security with the Ministry of Education,” he explained.
He said that the Ministries have already discussed the matter and an agreement will be signed very shortly.
“It will provide some of the traditional basic things in the programme, such as the involvement of police officers, particularly District Constables, at schools; the recreation of a school atmosphere that we once had; and the instilling of discipline and order. Those are the basic objectives of the programme,” Mr. Nelson noted.
The programme was launched in 2004, as a direct response to the urgent demand to reduce incidents of violence and anti-social behaviour affecting the nation’s schools. It is a multi-sectoral initiative being co-ordinated by a Task Force established by the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Health and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF).
A component of the programme is the training of the police to place them in the schools as School Resource Officers (SROs). In 2007, SROs were operating in 127 schools. Ten of the schools have received panic alarm systems to facilitate rapid response from the police.

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