PNP women want real solutions for school violence

PNP women want real solutions for school violence

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — The People's National Party Women's Movement(PNPWM) is calling for the urgent appointment of a Minister of Education and the implementation of a programme that will immediately place social workers with the requisite skills into the school system and communities to arrest the boorishness and stem the incidents of violence in schools.

President of the PNPWM Jennifer Edwards said utterances by Minister without Portfolio Karl Samuda suggesting that there was no need for concern provide compelling reasons why a minister who will treat matters affecting our schools with seriousness must be appointed.

“Outside of the videos on social media, we have had a number of reports of teachers being attacked by students. There are cases of armed men and parents turning up at schools to attack teachers and students; we cannot wait for someone else to be fatally injured before this matter is brought under control,” Edwards said.

In expressing empathy with the nation's teachers, the PNPWM is encouraging them to press on, despite the challenges.

“Our teachers are often going beyond the call of duty to safeguard the future of our country and all must be done to ensure their protection,” Edwards said.

She said the PNPWM views the attacks on teachers, who are mainly female, as an extension of the high levels of violence against women in the society. She said women are being brutalised in their homes and in the schools and the response from the state is less than acceptable.

Edwards said women and children must be protected by the state as security for all citizens is the foremost responsibility of any government.

“We need a social re-engineering programme that must begin in our schools, with the clear and measurable objective of behaviour change. This will impact behaviour in our homes, communities and country in the medium to long term,” Edwards said.

She said Jamaica has trained hundreds of social workers through programmes at The University of the West Indies, University of Technology and other tertiary institutions over the years, many of whom are never employed in their area of expertise.

“Many of these professionals have had to find work outside of their skills set because they are undervalued. It is time now for Jamaica to face up to the crisis we are in and bring workable solutions to bear. We need to address the issues in our communities and our schools. Things cannot remain as they are,” Edwards said.

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