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Posted: Wednesday 5 April, 2023 at 4:09 PM

Ministry tackling safety and security within schools

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - THE recent shooting incident in the vicinity of Irish Town Primary School and other serious incidents across the region had prompted the Ministry of Education in Basseterre to take proactive action to deal with the issue of violence on the school premises.


    In late February, a crossing guard was killed outside the Primary School while gunmen were exchanging fire, which raised alarms bells and public outcry for the safety of students and teachers at schools in St. Kitts and Nevis, .


    Now, the Ministry of Education is taking proactive steps by having monitors within schools, who will be working not only to provide safety and security, but also guidance counselling to students


    Dr. Geoffrey Hanley, Minister of Education, revealed that the schools were supposed to be outfitted with cameras, a similar position he took as principal of the Bronte Welsh Primary School, but the contract has not been fulfilled by the contractor.


    “Now that I am the Minister, I also got the opportunity to see documents where hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid to a company that was supposed to supply cameras in all of our high schools, and that project has not yet been done,” Hanley disclosed.


    He however gave the assurance that security “of our students and our schools will become a priority under my tenure”.


    According to the Minister, based on the incident at Iris Town Primary School, they are “redesigning the school to make sure that the security at the school is top notch down there, including security cameras”.


    “And we are in position to, very shortly, have School Resource Officers. Those are persons who will serve as school police, but we are not using the word police office,” explained Hanley.


    This plan is expected to be activated in all schools across the Federation, according to the Minister.


    In the region, the problem has been recorded in Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana and The Bahamas, amongst other territories. In those countries, there were instances where students had taken weapons in the schools and also parents entering the compound to confront teachers for scolding their children.


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