Child Friendly Schools model by 2015

Coordinator of special education Melina Fontaine

The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development on Monday announced plans to adopt the Child Friendly Schools (CFS) model, which focuses on behaviour management, in all Dominican schools by 2015.

The CFS model promotes a child-centred approach to learning and is aimed at high quality education for all. It focuses on behaviour management practices in classrooms, the creation of classrooms that are learning ready, healthy lifestyles and systems that encourage the participation of all children.

The programme is also aimed at promoting parental and community involvement in children’s learning.

Co-ordinator for Special Education and CFS Focal Point Melina Fontaine told a stakeholders meeting that CFS would help move the discussion about the school system away from violence and academic underachievement to the positive behaviour of students.

“We are moving towards the environment where every child is protected, is safe, is healthy, is positive and can succeed to their full potential.

“We anticipate that by 2015, every school in Dominica will be implementing CFS principles. We also anticipate that from now on, every successive year, the ripple effects of CFS practices will be felt in every community,” Fontaine said.

The CFS model is being implemented in 35 primary schools since its launch in September 2009 and operates on three main principles-child-centeredness, democratic participation, and inclusiveness.

“Where the CFS principles are being implemented consistently, we have begun to see results…in some schools, the number of children who are referred to the principal’s office is decreasing and there is less use of corporal punishment,” Fontaine said, adding that students are now reporting conflicts rather than engaging in aggressive behaviour.

The ministry is hoping that full implementation of CFS principles will result in decreases in behaviour problems, violence at schools, suspensions, expulsions and drop-outs.

Chief Education Officer Steve Hyacinth encouraged stakeholders to get involved in the process to create safer environments at schools.

“All groups or all sectors affected by school crime and violence must work together, must be meaningfully involved in the process and must take ownership and play a critical role.

“There is no need to be pointing fingers or playing the blame game. This is not the answer. All of us must play our part to ensure that our schools remain safe havens for all students and teachers, and ensure that all students succeed,” Hyacinth said.

The Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Petter Saint Jean told the stakeholder’s meeting that his government had embraced the Child Friendly Schools concept as a way to help address the problem of violence in schools as well as provide quality education for all.

“The government of Dominica is prepared to do all within its power and within its meanS to ensure that all schools in Dominica provide a protected, safe, healthy and inclusive environment for all of our students,” Saint-Jean said.

The Child Friendly Schools programme is supported by the UNICEF Eastern Caribbean Office.

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9 Comments

  1. Reality
    March 29, 2012

    Child friends school approach should start with the leaders and it should start now. When I listen to the Education Leaders on the radio, they sound hostile in response to problems in the schools. So it defeats the whole approach of Child Friendly approach. You can’t find fire with fire. Just this morning the Minister quoted “Peter St.Jean will not accept……” In the toughest sounding tone as he could muster. Just a few weeks ago, he said, “no 17 year old boy will……” Let change start with the leaders and trickle down.

  2. YesI
    March 28, 2012

    sitndown in allu ac rooms well comfortable and every so called good thing allu claimed allu get from america take them to our dominica schools with no resouces; put allu incomptent education officers in position because of skerrit says so; contine to unpay teachers while their union boss continue to use the for personal gain; then come and further frustrate them with allu stuff……Jah will deal with allu in his own time

  3. O_O
    March 28, 2012

    I am not going to hold back at saying A THING LIKE THIS SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN SCHOOLS A VERY LONG TIME AGO!!! Its not when something bad happens that people want to decide to put measures in place!!! ALl schools SHOULD HAVE ALREADY BEEN CHILD-Friendly, TEACHER-friendly and PARENT-friendly!!!! Its sitting on peoples butts and having meeting, meeting, meeting and more meeting and not taking action that causing things like these to happen. Its not too late but Its been long ago since things happening in schools when it gets to boiling point that certain people want to take late action! …by 2015 toh lweh! we’re in 2012 this should be there long time ago, kids have been bullied in schools in the past. This is not a new thing to Dominican schools. #Just giving my two cents

  4. Aye Dominique
    March 28, 2012

    Alot of things are being mentioned but if this is geared towards sensitizing the public, we need more specific information. For example how are we going to achieve these goals?

    My take is, address the problems a few at a time, instead of coming up with something that is very flamboyant that do not have the necessary mechanisms in place for success.

    Again, I am speculating here because the how which is the most critical part was left out in this article.

  5. Girl
    March 28, 2012

    Great initiative by the Govt of Dominica. Nothing bad about this!

  6. Concerened
    March 28, 2012

    When will they move a “teacher friendly school?” Why can’t the powers to be realise what the problem is? They have taken teacher’s control from the classroom and have given the control and “protection” to the children and parents and expect different results…let ssee where “child freindly schools” will lead…go back to the days when children were raised by a community and now what we do today give the children and parents their right…teacher’s be dammed. If you don’t beleive me ask the real teachers in the classroom?

  7. stoic
    March 28, 2012

    now we talking……

  8. anonymous2
    March 28, 2012

    I knew the U.N. was behind it. They own and promote the system of trading freedom for security…….then you will have neither. Their goal is to have children robots turn into adult robots that have no capacity to think on their own. A herd of sheep. Is that what you want for your child?
    The schools here used to be successful. What happened? Think about it.

  9. Eagle
    March 28, 2012

    Ministry for Education, this sounds like a pretty plan, however, one person cannot do it all.

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