Deviant behavior in schools

The earlier pronouncements by the Minister of Education Shaik Baksh of the Government’s intention to improve the education sector is a welcome development and worth commendation, but there is another vitally important facet that has not been mentioned.
That is, unless the Ministry is willing to tackle the upsurge in deviant behavior within our schools, his attempt to raise the level of literacy and numeracy among the school population will ultimately fail.
Recently, reports of violence in our schools have increased rapidly and no one could dispute the fact that there is urgent need for the Ministry to implement solutions that will eradicate such abnormalities in our schools.
It is imperative that the Ministry move swiftly to put into operation a comprehensive plan that allows for a smooth delivery of education to those students who would like to attain academic excellence.
Minister Baksh in many of his declarations spoke of the amount of money the Government is spending to elevate the level of education in our country, even insisting that it might be unrivalled within the Caribbean, but nowhere in those announcements was there any hint of any impending arrangement to embark upon the enormous task of eliminating the phenomenon of violence that is currently plaguing our school system.
Without such preparations, even the well intended endeavour to enhance the literacy and numeracy levels of our students who are the future leaders of this country would not succeed. It is as plain as that.
It is indeed frightening to read of the increased violence within our learning institutions and this did not occur overnight, but rather has been festering for sometime now.
It would, therefore, be interesting to hear what the Minister has to say in response to the present occurrences. It would also be instructive to know what plans the Minister and by extension the Government, have in place to exterminate such anti-social behaviour.
In a society reeling from the ‘single parent’ syndrome it must be noted that the school system is an extension of the sociological process and the policies enacted for the education sector must cater for a re-organisation of the current structure, thus allowing for more consistent interaction with parents.
Areas such as infrastructure, feeding programmes, resource materials, learning centres, teachers’ housing, sanitation facilities, health and nutrition and general upgrade, are all part of the Education Sector’s Strategic Plan.
However, it must be noted that behavioural patterns in schools could also negatively impact on learning. For this reason, valiant attempts must be made to deal with anti-social behaviour, placing qualified personnel within the institutions to effectively harness such conduct.
These individuals should be given the authority to enforce school rules and institute standards of behaviour.
There must also be regular collaboration with teachers and parents to ensure that students adhere to the rules and regulations that govern the institution.
In order to attain tangible results, all the components stated above must be put in place to achieve holistic improvement in the sector.