Last update: 05-Dec-2013 5:01 am
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
You are here
Secondary school students to face scanners today
Security at the nation’s secondary schools will be beefed up from today’s start of the new term to ensure incidents of violence on school compounds are eradicated, Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh said yesterday. He made the comment after a short ceremony in which he distributed schoolbags to needy children from his Caroni East constituency. Gopeesingh said government secondary schools will be assigned two safety officers, while schools controlled by denominational boards will have their own management structures in place. He said more student support services will also be available for the new term. Each principal in the 143 secondary schools, he said, will be given hand-held scanners so that students entering and leaving the compound can be scanned. He reminded that items such as camera phones and instruments that may pose a danger to students have been banned from schools.
Gopeesingh said walk-in scanners would be used to detect irregular materials and students would be disciplined. He said all management staff at schools had been advised that the ministry's policy of a zero tolerance to bullying also remained in effect. The minister said 212 repair and maintenance projects had been started at the beginning of the school vacation in July and all schools that fell under these projects would be opened today. However, he said a number of primary schools had to be rebuilt and the ministry is hoping to house the affected students at community centres but some of these centres were not yet ready. He said this may cause some delay with up to four schools. However, he admitted that work on 16 schools was not yet completed up to yesterday, although they were hoping to complete them in time for the start of classes today. Work on all the unfinished schools will continue after-hours and on weekends, he said.
Meanwhile, the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association said yesterday that from the information it had, 12 schools would not be ready for the opening of today’s new term.
TTUTA general secretary Peter Wilson put this down to the fact that the contractors in the ministry’s School Repair Programme, who were supposed to begin work in July after schools closed, did not begin until a few weeks ago in August. Wilson said the ministry indicated there was a funding issue and consequently the repairs started very late in the vacation period. He said there were outstanding repairs for electrical and sewer problems, pigeon infestation and general dilapidated infrastructure. He said the teachers are expected to return to classes but if the conditions are unhealthy and unsafe they may have to remove themselves.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.