JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is encouraging school administrators to build strong community relations as a means of protecting the school plants.
  • The Minister was responding to concerns raised by school officials about vandalism at a back-to-school conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on July 28.
  • He said it is not possible to build fences at all of the educational institutions, and the administrators need to rely on the communities to keep the property safe from the few who would seek to destroy them.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, is encouraging school administrators to build strong community relations as a means of protecting the school plants.

The Minister was responding to concerns raised by school officials about vandalism at a back-to-school conference held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston, on July 28.

He said it is not possible to build fences at all of the educational institutions, and the administrators need to rely on the communities to keep the property safe from the few who would seek to destroy them.

“I believe that proper relationship with the community, no matter how difficult the location that you are in, is the best antidote towards insecurity,” Rev. Thwaites told the school principals and board chairs.

He reminded the school leaders that the safe school officers and the police are available to address security issues.

He noted further that with discussions underway for the deans of discipline to have powers of special district constables, they too will be able to deal quickly with emergency situations.

“We need for them to restrain somebody when circumstances arise…it is necessary, and we have to encourage you to be strong disciplinarians without being brutal, and without being reprehensible,” the Minister said.

Rev. Thwaites also used the occasion to urge primary schools to work closely with nearby early childhood institutions so that students will get early exposure of the instruction that is offered at the primary level.

“The early childhood experience is the most pivotal period for education…I would wish that my chairmen and principals would make it a point to go into the early childhood institutions and see what level of structure of education is there, so that by helping them, mentoring them, you can ensure that the students, who come to you, will be of higher calibre, and more capable to ingest the kind of education that you have,” he pointed out.

The conference was held to update school officials on the work of the Ministry to improve institutions across the island, as well as provide information on new and ongoing projects in the education system, and to address concerns.