JIS: The Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information has been boosted with a US$3 million support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), under the Ministry/USAID Partnership For Safe School project.
Through the project, the Unit will increase the number of hand held metal detectors to 500, and walk through scanners to 30 for the 2018-2019 school year. Funding has also been provided for perimeter fencing, installation of cameras, capacity building training as well as support to uniformed groups.
Addressing a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (September 13), Director of the Unit, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Coleridge Minto, said that through the partnership, more than 300 students from across the island also benefited from a special therapeutic behaviour modification camp, held in July under the theme: ‘Chance, Choice and Change’.
He explained that the Ministry’s prime objective is to implement the necessary measures to transform schools and their immediate surroundings into safe zones through a multi-layered and multi-sectoral approach, utilizing both public and private partnerships, supported by legislation and policies where necessary.
According to ASP Minto, the Ministry’s position in treating safety and security in school should be seen as a holistic approach and not left up to an individual.
“As a consequence, the Ministry has mandated that a Security and Safety Committee be established in each school. This committee comprises both internal and external partners who should develop and implement a security and safety plan,” he said.
The Ministry has completed the procurement, printing and distribution of 6,000 Safety and Security Manuals and have begun distribution to the schools.
The Safe School Policy involves a paradigm shift in the area of student behaviour and discipline. It emphasizes prevention and early intervention strategies in dealing with the social, emotional, and behavioural difficulties experienced by some students.
CAPTION: Assistant Superintendent of Police, Coleridge Minto, Director of the Safety and Security Unit of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, addresses a JIS ‘Think Tank’, today (September 13).