Editorial

To Education Minister: Step Up or Go Home

To Education Minister: Step Up or Go Home

 Our Education Minister needs to step up and get serious, or pack up and go home. This Minister is arguably the most disliked, though some may argue a point for other Ministers as well. His growing infamy can be chalked up to his seemingly dispassionate responses to perceivably serious issues. From the state of certain schools, to incidents of school violence.

This was perfectly highlighted in his recent response to reports of a violent incident at the Valencia Secondary School. Newspaper reports stated that girls had scaled the school fence to fight with students. The incident allegedly escalated to the point where teachers and other students reportedly locked themselves in classrooms until security/police arrived.

When asked about that incident, the Minister immediately went on the offensive, blaming the media for sensationalizing the incident, since a report from the principal claimed no one scaled the fence and that no one was forced to lock themselves in classrooms. The Minister said the incident began outside of the school and led to retaliatory action. He then hurriedly emphasised that measures to reduce school violence “are working”.

We wonder sometimes if the Honourable Minister even thinks before or even after he talks. Fighting and retaliation. Those are the hallmarks of gang behaviour. We are not saying that these particular students are in any gangs. NO. But, their attitudes reflect the mentality that runs in gangs and that sort of attitude is indicative of a greater behavioural problem that our country seems to be fighting a losing battle against. That attitude Mr Minister, should be cause for grave concern.

And this is not the first time the Minister has come under fire for his responses to incidents at schools. All hell broke loose online when an incident that left a primary school student with a broken arm, was chalked up to wild play. This, even after the student claimed to be the victim of bullying. Then, he infamously stated that fighting in schools is inevitable and a “part of growing up”. Mr Minister, you are normalizing violence amongst our young people. No wonder we are becoming a lawless society!

Mr Minister, we know that it is nearly impossible to have zero violence in schools. But there must always be a “no tolerance” approach. Anger is a normal human emotion and we need to teach our children how to deal with it properly. Please stop living in denial. You will get more respect and understanding, if you simply admit to the challenges. All we as citizens want, is to know the problem isn’t being ignored.

Web Master

February 5th, 2018

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