Metal detectors installed in all schools
Minister of Education Ruel Reid has revealed that all of the island’s 171 high schools now have metal detectors.
“We have some walk-through detectors now being installed in selected schools and another 200 (handheld) devices are being procured to ensure that defective ones are readily replaced,” Reid said, noting that most institutions have handheld scanners.
He was speaking at a back-to-school conference for the ministry’s Region One, Region Two and Region Six at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston last Thursday.
Reid said equipping schools with metal detectors is part of the ministry’s efforts to improve safety and security.
The education minister also stated that the ministry has started to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems in schools, noting that this is to ensure that institutions are able to review incidents and take corrective action where necessary.
“We would like to put CCTV in every school… that helps you to better survey your compound, better give you information on students who are regularly conjugating at a particular location and displaying certain antisocial behaviour,” he said.
He said the ministry expects 80 per cent of schools to have CCTV technology by 2020.
The education ministry requires all schools to have an active safety and security committee.
It notes that the committees are audited regularly, along with the entire schools, to ensure that the safety policies are being implemented.
Reid pointed out that his ministry also works closely with the police, noting that there are over 200 School Resource Officers assigned to schools.
Reid said the ministry understands the importance of having uniformed groups in schools and it is working towards increasing such groups across the system, arguing that they help to enhance discipline and socially acceptable behaviours among students.
Reid said that there are over 600 uniformed groups in schools.