Don't tolerate student misbehaviour
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I agree with this new directive of the Ministry of Education (MOE) to school administrators in its bulletin referred to by the Jamaica Gleaner article (Education ministry warns schools not to lock out students as punishment) regarding the cessation of the practice whereby they "lock out" students for lateness, improper attire, etc.
I do note the likely counter-problems that may emerge in terms of safety and security. However, where is the clause in the directive that speaks to the other strategies to be employed in addressing these misdemeanours?
Are school administrators being called to be tolerant of:
- Parents and students who have no respect for school rules, regulations, time and dress code?
- Students who have daily preschool 'socials' in bus parks, recreational parks, buses and various other places and then arrive at school when they feel like, then interrupt classes with their 'grand entry'.
- Students who have very little (if any) self-respect and/or respect for their uniforms, schools, school administrators and parents (in some instances) and as such they 'wear' the school uniforms very inappropriately?
- Students who wear miniskirts to sit before teachers?
- Students in tight pants that reduce their youthful flexibility/movements in physical & other class activities?
- Student who have absolutely no interest in school?
DON'T BE ONE-SIDED
All I'm asking is for the MOE to not just speak to 'child rights' in a one-sided way. The other children have a right to equality.
For too long, we have taken a one-handed approach to the problems facing the educational system!
Jamaica's education system is longing for a holistic approach to transformation, one that speaks to how we will seek to adjust the values and attitudes that once permeated the school system.
I am not saying that schools should be permitted to lock out students, but there are some who deserve to be locked out of the regular school system, as their interests are elsewhere.
I think it is time we begin to rethink education. Acknowledge that all our nation's children will not excel academically! Acknowledge that where parental support is lacking, we will have to invest more (time, energy, knowledge and other resources) into their development! Acknowledge that there are oftentimes psychological illnesses, demonic possession and issues that plague our children's minds/lives!
Until we begin to address these bigger and underlying issues, our education system will continue to be challenged.
Deputy General Secretary
National Youth Council of Jamaica