Thursday 12 December, 2019

Primary school Principals: Shorter lunch and recess might reduce indiscipline at schools

The National Primary School Principals Association (NAPSPA) has made several recommendations to further reduce indiscipline at schools, among them a reduction in lunch and recess hours.

This was revealed following a media conference between executives at the Ministry of Education and the NAPSPA at the Education Towers yesterday.

Minister Anthony Garcia acknowledged the proposal but said it could not be implemented without proper consultation.

“There is merit in this proposal and it needs to be explored a little more and as soon as we have these discussions we will report back to the Principals. Of course, the discussions will involve TTUTA, the National Parent Teachers Association.”

There was the suggestion to reduce the amount of time primary school students spend outside of classrooms to reduce violence on the compound. NAPSPA President Cogland Griffith said this can occur with a shortened lunch hour as students will be able to receive further supervision.

 “What simply happens is that you give a thirty-minute break. The children have the lunches in the classroom and then they go out and they have just something to drink or so on and use the washroom and get back in”

Griffith said it was also included in the proposal that schools be dismissed early to allow community programmes to take place in order to provide extracurricular activities for students.

Meanwhile, Minister Garcia reiterated that there has been a decrease in the incidence of violence and indiscipline in schools. He said this has been proven by data which he noted was in no way falsified.

“The Principals of our schools are responsible for supplying to the Ministry, the relevant data, and therefore when it is stated that there is no truth to the data then it casts aspersions on our Principals.

We regard our Principals very highly and when they supply us with relevant data, we take that data on the basis of which it was presented. We have absolutely no reason to believe that our Principals will change the data to favor any particular school.”

And, Minister in the Ministry of Education Dr Lovell Francis said the hiring of social workers to address the issue of each child is impossible and will not solve the disciplinary problems within the school system. 

“We will never be able to hire 10,000 more social workers, 10,000 more guidance counselors, it is a failed construct. What you do is you deal with the situation where it lies which is at the home, in the community.”

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