‘Don’t give up’ - Green urges teachers not to allow unruly children to push them from the classroom
State minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information Floyd Green is appealing to discouraged teachers not to throw in the towel, as children with maladaptive behaviour who make the classroom a difficult place for teaching and learning are a priority for his ministry.
"I would encourage them to not give up on these children," Green told The Sunday Gleaner on the margins of the first regional dialogue in Latin America and the Caribbean to discuss the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Santiago, Chile, last week.
"We have seen the problem, and not only have we seen the problem, we are taking steps to treat with it," added Green.
He said the ministry has already introduced targeted interventions to assist troubled youths and there are more programmes which will be rolled out gradually.
Since September, two time out centres have been established to help with reforming boys, and plans are being made to transform 11 youth clubs across the country into time out facilities. A review of the programme will be done after the first year.
"Students have already started to go and maybe it is still too early to say the impact, but the preliminary reviews have been good," said Green, as he responded to a Sunday Gleaner story about a teacher who experiences anxiety whenever she steps into the classroom because the students are becoming increasingly uncontrollable.
According to the teacher, several of her colleagues have left the profession because they were unable to deal with the unruly students.
But Green said help is on its way for these teachers. He added that the ministry has attached more social workers to each region this year and more psychosocial interventions were introduced, including behavioural modification camps.
"For our children who are involved in violence at various levels, the steps that we have made earlier this year with a Child Diversion Bill will help us to focus on the rehabilitation of them as early as possible," Green added, as he underscored the ministry's position that corporal punishment is not an answer for unruly children.
"Corporal punishment is not effective at reforming behaviour, neither do suspensions that do not have a behaviour modification component," said Green.