Mon | Sep 24, 2018

NIDS for child safety - Ministry could replicate Greater Portmore High's electronic system

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Betty Ann Blaine (third left), founder of Hear the Children’s Cry, and Rosalee Gage-Grey (fourth left), head of the CPFSA, in discussion with students at the National Missing Children’s Forum held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, yesterday.

A computer-based electronic identification system, introduced by Greater Portmore High School, as part of its entry in the Ananda Alert Safe School Competition, has won the backing of Floyd Green, state minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.

The school's proposal includes a surveillance system, a bulletin screen, the introduction of an updated photo database, and the formation of the Healthy, Youth, Positive, Energy (HYPE) Club.

"Children know the issues, and they oftentimes come up with solutions that can work right across the board," Green told The Gleaner at yesterday's Child Protection and Family Services National Missing Children's Forum held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

 

NIDS link

 

He said that the proposal lined up well with the National Identification System (NIDS), reasoning that a link could be made where the database created a system that was able to monitor a child's attendance. This would put parents at ease, knowing that their child actually had made it to school.

"Clearly, that is where we have to go. In putting in place the NIDS system, we can create that link, which will serve to help protect our children and will also help with the attendance records as well," argued Green. "I feel it could be a natural progression [that is] connected to the NIDS. Once you have a database of individuals, then that idea will also serve the purpose of identification in schools."

Green said that he was impressed by the innovative approaches as laid out by the four finalists in the Ananda Alert Safe School Competition: Frome Technical, Glenmuir High, Westwood High (last year's winner), and Greater Portmore.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com