The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development on Wednesday pledged its full support to secondary school principals in their efforts to tackle anti-social behaviour in schools.
The Minister for Education and Human Resource Development Petter Saint Jean told principals his ministry would support their disciplinary measures as long as they conformed to the Education Act (1997).
“No principal should abdicate their responsibility and give charge to any child or student groups within their schools. You are the final authority at your school and principals you have to take charge of your schools.
“Once you do what you have to do, the ministry is obligated by law to stand with you,” he said.
Saint Jean also called on parents to reclaim control of their children, adding that violence in schools was a wider societal problem.
“We have too many homes with parents who have abdicated their responsibility so the home must also take charge. But it also stands true that management at the schools must stamp the seal of authority,” he said.
“No 17-year old boy or parent is going to determine what happens at our schools…I am saying this to say that we cannot allow the students of Dominica to take charge of our schools,” the minister stressed.
Saint Jean’s meeting with the principals was part of a series of consultations organised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development with principals, teachers, parents and students of secondary schools.
Education officials and principals reviewed an action plan developed to improve security, student discipline and classroom management in secondary schools by June 2013.
Increased numbers of security officers, improved school and classroom supervision, and training for teachers in conflict resolution and classroom management are among measures proposed by the ministry.
Senior education officials have already met with parents, teachers and students of the Dominica Grammar School and the Portsmouth Secondary School and will next week meet with stakeholders at the Isaiah Thomas Secondary School and the North East Comprehensive School.