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Education Ministry Takes Holistic Approach to Addressing School Discipline


JIS: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Information’s Safety and Security Programme (SSP) is taking a more holistic approach in treating with children who are displaying antisocial behaviour in schools.


Through the School-wide Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support (SWPBIS) model, focus is placed on prevention and early intervention strategies in dealing with the social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties experienced by some students.


Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, Director of the Safety and Security Unit in the Ministry, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Coleridge Minto, said that under the SWPBIS model, “an entire-school approach” is taken in addressing discipline. “Rather than training the guidance counsellors, the deans of discipline and principals, we train the entire school in how to administer discipline in a positive way; even the ancillary staff,” he said.


Other aspects of the model involve in-school suspension, as against sending students home for several days. While at school, they benefit from behaviour-modification programmes through the Dispute Resolution Foundation (DRF), the cadet corps or other groups.


Time-out facilities have also been introduced to provide interventions that cannot be done in the regular school environment.


Two facilities were set up at the start of the 2018/19 academic year in September, with another 11 to be established in January 2019.


ASP Minto explained that students are placed in a programme where they are closely monitored. The intervention is crafted to meet the needs of the individual student, and when they are rehabilitated they are placed back into the regular school system.


He disclosed that researchers have pointed out that 80 per cent of students are well behaved, while 15 per cent have slight behavioural problems and five per cent are engaged in deviant and antisocial behaviour.


This finding is supported by data in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.


CAPTION: Director of the Safety and Security Unit in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Coleridge Minto, addressing a recent JIS Think Tank.