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TTUTA wants meeting on school violence

By RESHMA BAAL Friday, November 26 2010

THE Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA) is calling for a meeting with the Ministry of Education to address the issue of recent surges in violence and indiscipline in the nation’s schools.

TTUTA President Roustan Job made the statement when he spoke with reporters during a protest by Early Childhood Care and Education teachers outside the Ministry of Education in St Clair yesterday.

Job said TTUTA has submitted “many ideas” to the ministry on how to deal with the rising incidents of violence recently plaguing the school system, “but it seems that they don’t take our ideas into consideration.”

Job said the ministry should implement “realistic intervention measures, for instance the out-of- school suspension must be something meaningful to the student.” He explained that the suspended student should be placed in a programme, not just sent home.

“In Barbados there are suspension centres where suspended students are sent to each day,” said Job.

He also said the Student Support Services of the ministry should also “improve its function and look at improving the conditions under which it operates.”

Teachers at the Belmont Secondary “walked out” on classes last Friday and have not returned after a male form two student, who on October 7 brandished a knife and threatened a teacher, returned to school after completing his suspension.

“The School Supervisor have assured us that all arrangements have been made to have the student transferred. We will also like counselling for teachers and students of the school as well as for the student who committed the act,” said Second Vice-President of TTUTA, Orville Carrington.

Last Monday, at the Arima North Secondary persons known to a student entered the school and got into an altercation with someone whom the student had been feuding with earlier. The incident escalated and other students got involved.

Job also said yesterday that the Morvant/ Laventille Secondary School will be reopened in the new school term, in January 2011.

Teachers “walked off” the job after a wall at the back of the school collapsed on October 21, after flooding.

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