Sunday 12 July, 2020

Fighting in school is "part of growing up" says Garcia

Education Minister Anthony Garcia has criticised the media which he says continues to sensationalise incidents of fighting in schools.

Garcia was speaking during a welcome ceremony for eight new school supervisors at the Ministry of Education on Wednesday.

He said fighting in schools is inevitable and "part of growing up".

But he said media reports paint a much grimmer picture.

"The instances of violence and indiscipline in our schools have been on the downslide. They have waned tremendously," Garcia said.

"However it seems to me either the national community has not gotten that message or some people deliberately continue to feed the view that there is this widespread indiscipline in our schools which is not so."

He said the media contributes to the perception of violence and indiscipline in school being a major problem.

“If two children fight in school, it is carried on social media and the Express and the Guardian and the Newsday and the television stations carry it as though it is this big calamity."

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Garcia said in his time as a student at Hillview College, he himself had been involved in school fights.

“When I was in secondary school, I fought. I am not ashamed to say that and even today I like to fight. I tell people that. But I fight in a different way.” 

Garcia said schoolboys fight to "establish themselves".

“In growing up, boys, in particular, would have to fight as a means of establishing themselves, but we never fought with weapons.” 

He said he fought with his best friend many times in his school days and they would be back to best friends, hugging and chatting, within minutes.

This best friend went on to be the best man at his wedding, he said.

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"When I decided to get married and I had to choose a best man, it was one person I chose. That was my best friend in school but we fought...It is a part of life, a part of growing up. But the media seems to be sensationalising this whole thing as if it is this big scourge that has now beset our education system." 

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