Police to tackle truancy
PORT MARIA, St Mary:
In a bid to reduce truancy and ensure that students are unable to loiter on their way to and from school, the police have announced plans to occupy all transport centres during weekday peak hours.
Speaking last week at a Safe School Stakeholders Conference at the Casa Maria Hotel in Port Maria, St Mary, Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Community Safety and Security Bishop Gary Welsh said the proposal, which aims to create more safe spaces for young people, would be launched at the Half-Way-Tree Transport Centre before being rolled out nationally.
After the conference, which was attended by dozens of teachers from across St Mary, Welsh told The Gleaner: "If we begin with Half-Way-Tree and use that as a teaching model, we can roll it out further. I know people are going to be concerned that we are pressuring the children, but no, the Child Development Agency is at the centre of what we're doing, and they are showing us what our limits are.
"The truth is, some of these programmes are already rolled out in Clarendon and Manchester, but we want to make it a national programme and push this thing together. Our critical stakeholders are the parents and the schools.
If parents can come on board with us, they don't have to sign anything, all they have to say is: 'we agree and support this initiative'. Likewise, the schools have to create the kind of atmosphere that is encouraging for the students to stay there."