The Ministry of Education is seeking to cultivate a culture of safety and security at all educational institutions across the island.
Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Sharon Neil, said minimum standards and guidelines for safety have been established.
Through these standards, she said, “we hope to stimulate a culture of safety in all our institutions where it has not yet emerged, and to give direction and support to all institutions, where it already exists.”
Mrs. Neil, who was addressing the Excelsior Community College Disaster Awareness and Business expo held today (March 11), at the school’s Mountain View Avenue location, said the Ministry of Education has played a proactive role in encouraging schools to comply with the standards that have been established, including offering support where needed.
She noted that while some institutions exceed the standards, “we continue to encourage schools to remain vigilant and protective of the high standards that they have maintained”.
The Deputy Chief Executive Officer said that the Ministry also continues to collaborate with government and non-governmental agencies in implementing school-based initiatives aimed at a healthy, peaceful and safe school environment.
As such, she said, the Ministry is in the process of sensitising students about the importance of proper garbage collection, separation, storage and disposal.
She noted that this is aimed at ensuring the healthy well-being of students and other stakeholders within the sector.
In addition, schools are required to conduct three disaster preparedness drills during the school year, so as to ensure that all stakeholders are prepared for any eventualities.
“We feel that everyone must be held to understand how they are to respond or react in the case of a natural disaster or manmade disaster or any other emergencies,” Mrs. Neil said.
The expo, under the theme: ‘Health and Disaster Awareness…Everybody’s Business,’ was held to educate and inform students, staff and community members about matters related to disaster and health management.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter