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Minister Garcia Adopts Zero Tolerance Approach To School Indiscipline
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (GISL) -- The Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education is promising to weed out school indiscipline through stringent measures as he visited yet another secondary school where staff and teachers complained of bullying, violence and various forms of disrespect being meted out to them from students of the El Dorado East Secondary School.
The visit took place on Tuesday March 1st, 2016 along with Dr. the Honourable Lovell Francis, Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, senior officials of the Ministry and other stakeholders.
Speaking to the media after a meeting with the staff and teachers of the school, Minister Garcia said he received numerous complaints from parents, teachers and members of the public about the incidents of school indiscipline and bullying at the institution. He said, “We have heard the cry of teachers today and we have heard the hurt that teachers are experiencing and I can tell you, we at the level of the Ministry of Education intend to do something about this.”
Minister Garcia has further instructed the School Principal to provide a list of names of all those students who are disruptive at the institution to decide on a plan of action. He said he became aware of the grave situation at the El Dorado East Secondary School when a parent informed him that her son who is a Form One student at the school came home with soiled trousers and complained that he was afraid to use the bathroom because he was being “taxed” when he tried to use the bathroom facilities. The Minister also said teachers have complained that gambling and smoking of marijuana is being done openly and students are using vile obscenities and threatening them and other students.
Minister Garcia reiterated that incidents such as these will not be allowed to continue, “I am not going to tolerate deviant behaviour in any of our schools. As I have been saying all along a school must be a place that is conducive to teaching and learning, but more than that a school must be a place of safety for all those who occupy the school.”
He promised that action will be taken to fix the issues of the El Dorado East Secondary School so it can return to the high standards that it was once known for and said, “This was a school that occupied a high level of excellence. In fact, among the schools in the East/West corridor it was known as “the jewel of the East” and there are several persons who are considered national icons who attended this school. Something has gone wrong and we are going to find out what it is and work together with the teachers to solve the problems the staff currently face.”
Also in attendance during the school visit were Permanent Secretary Gillian Macintyre, Ministry of Education; Mr. Harrilal Seecharan, Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education; Ms. Antonia Defrietas, First Vice President, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA); Ms. Zena Ramatali, President, National Parents Teachers Association (NPTA), and Mr. Esmond Forde, Member of Parliament for Tunapuna.