Ministry Urged to Look at Anti-School Sub-Culture among Students


Opposition Spokesperson on Education, Maxine Henry Wilson, has urged the Education Ministry to look at the problem of anti-school sub-culture among students, where underachievers are seen as heroes.
“There is existing in schools, what you can call a deeply anti-school sub-culture, where the bad boy or the girl who do not perform are lionized and treated as heroes.it’s a societal problem,” she told the House of Representatives during her contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate, yesterday (May 27).
“So, that is something that we have to deal with, the underperformers, the lack of excellence.the whole question of how you change that and make achievement of excellence a desired value, is something that we also need to work on,” she remarked.
Another issue, Mrs. Henry Wilson said, that needs to be addressed is the frustration that arises when those who have learning problems are unable to achieve. “Their reaction to it, is to be disruptive. We have to find special situations to accommodate them,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, the Opposition Spokesperson cautioned against the proposed introduction of Deans of Discipline in schools, with job descriptions that might be construed as policing.
“Where we do have Deans of Discipline in schools now, the circumstances and the environment tend to be quite different. I do fear that if we were to have some of these Deans of Discipline conducting what is almost police work, or if they are allowing things that will allow them to be targeted, they could be at risk, so we need to define very clearly, what the Deans of Discipline will do,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
She added that the nation needs to take a stand against some of the behaviours being displayed and learnt on public transportation. “Some of the most lurid and lewd images are being projected on our buses.it can’t be beyond us to ensure that our children travel safely and in good order to school. We have to have a consolidated and co-ordinated approach to it. It can’t be just the teachers and some safe school officers, it has to be everybody signing on to those values,” she stressed.
Mrs. Henry Wilson also pleaded for the reinforcement of interventions to mitigate male underachievement. “We really need to know that boys learn differently from girls and how do we ensure that we don’t place them at a disadvantage,” she said.

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