Teachers get training to create child-friendly schools


Teachers from about 24 schools participated in a training session today conducted by the Special Education department of the Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF that will equip them with the skills to transform their schools into child-friendly schools.

These teachers will join fellow educators at 10 schools across the island where the programme has already been piloted and reports have come from both staff and parents at those schools that there have been significant changes in the general deportment of the students.

Coordinator for Special Education in the Ministry of Education Melina Fontaine said that these methods have been implemented in a number of other countries in the region and the effort it being made to scale it up with the view to making it uniform across the board.

“It involves looking at expectations, in terms of how children should act in school, how they should behave and how they should get on with their academics. A lot of the time we assume that children know how to behave and so with the child-friendly school initiative we are saying that you have to teach them what behavior is expected of them within the school. We also look at their academic programmes and we want to ensure that all students, whatever their potential, will be successful at school,” Fontaine revealed.

She indicated that these new methods have improved the students’ academics since more attention is being given to individual students but more studies are still being done to assess the impact of the programme.

Fontaine reported, “Right now we have a consultant from UNICEF doing an evaluation of the initiative and looking at its impact and hopefully we’ll get some more information out of that, but there are things that we are doing to look at the academics and already we are beginning to see changes in academic performance because of what is happening in the classroom. Teachers are really paying attention to individual students because unless you pay attention to them some will fall through the cracks. I cannot tell how big it is just yet though.”

Teachers at training

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  1. raindrop
    October 18, 2011

    I didn’t know they had a special education department. That is good to know…. I hope that this is not just in words but in action.

  2. Anonymous
    October 18, 2011

    I hope this works! Maybe it will help our customer service too!

  3. freespirit
    October 17, 2011

    So in essence we are finally getting to the realization that schools are not child friendly!! How true. Schools are mechanisms of the industrial age, designed to create compliant workers. In the effort to standardize groups of children they often only succeed in crushing creativity and stifling uniqueness and the entrepreneurial spirit. It is great that this training is happening but it probably needs a far more sweeping revolution in the educational system to create environments for learning that enable children to thrive fully and freely.

  4. true dominican
    October 17, 2011

    A A. Mrs. Blanc you right there in the picture. Good to see mrs. Blanc was part of this workshop.A true role model in every sense of the word.We need more teachers like Mrs. Blanc in the service.Good going mrs. Fontaine, I have done some work with mrs. Fontaine already and she is focused and very much interested in childrens development and welfare. very good initiative.

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