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The Ministry of Education, intends to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of National Security, to deal with behavioural problems in schools.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet press briefing, held at the Office of the Prime Minister, yesterday (June 4), Minister of Education, Andrew Holness pointed out that the MoU would seek to address issues such as school searches, among other things.
He said that a protocol would be developed where the police could assist the schools in conducting searches, “so that we can get on top of this business of carrying weapons to school.”
“There are several items that we are trying to pursue with the Ministry of National Security. We look at education as a national security issue as well.(When) bad behaviour starts in the schools, it filters out into the society, so it is important that in tackling crime and violence, that a ‘joined-up’ approach is taken,” the Minister explained.
On another matter, Mr. Holness said the Ministry was looking into the feasibility of establishing a school’s patrol, under the Safe Schools Programme, to police areas where students congregate after school.
He noted that special attention would be given to bus parks and certain bus stops as well as other areas, to ensure that students were behaving appropriately. He said that the issue of bus operators and taxi drivers playing lewd music or encouraging students to behave inappropriately, would also be addressed.
The Safe Schools Programme is a multi-sectoral initiative involving government ministries, agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), designed to control school violence by placing law enforcement officers at troubled institutions.
The programme involves members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) acting as School Resource Officers (SROs). The SROs mentor students and mediate in disputes. They also work with the school administrations to identify and monitor areas on the school compounds that pose potential dangers to students.
The aim of the programme is to promote safe schools where the physical, psychological and emotional environments are conducive to positive interaction.

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