Rolls out suite of behavior change programmes
THERE ARE behavioural and social issues and challenges affecting our children that cause a major cramp in the education system. Data from the Ministry of National Security’s Safe School Programme indicated that during the 2012/2013 Academic Year, three thousand six hundred and seventy one (3,671) students were cited for anti-social behaviours of varying degrees. Therefore, we are concentrating on developing positive social attitudes and customs.
In order to address the behavioural problems, the Ministry is using various strategies at all levels of the system under the School Wide Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support (SWPBIS) framework. The components of the programme are:
Culture in Education Programme
· The Culture in Education Programme is designed to promote civics education which includes citizenship, greater appreciation of self and others and respect for national symbols, national heroes and icons, all relevant to cultural integrity and nation-building.
· The Teachings of Garvey were introduced in the curriculum. A series of readers on the “Heroes of Jamaica” will be introduced in September 2015 to inspire our students to bring out the best within themselves and inculcate the positive values and attitudes demonstrated by the heroes.
Health and Family Life Education (HFLE)
· The aim of the HFLE is to help young people understand that the choices they make in everyday life profoundly influence their health and personal development into adulthood as well as to help children and adolescents practice healthy choices. The programme which began in 2007 had a complete rollout in 2012 with approximately 1000 public and 200 independent schools, from early childhood to the secondary level.
· The Valuable Pathways, a programme that was developed and implemented in 2004 in all Technical High Schools, has been modified for full roll out in the system for September 2015. The programme is aimed at assisting students to develop, demonstrate and embrace core values that have been identified and to apply them to their daily lives. It provides a general overview of core values within the Jamaican context and provides practical ways for these to be demonstrated. The programme comes with a teacher’s guide and a student manual.
· The Dream- A- World Project is being implemented by the University of the West Indies, Mona, through the Caribbean Institute of Mental Health and Substance Abuse (CARIMENSA). At present, the project targets the poorest academic performers and most disruptive students entering Grade 4 in 5 parishes, (Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Mary, Portland, St. Thomas) in 35 primary schools.
· After one year, the intervention is expected to transform annually 1000 academically failing and behaviourally dysfunctional Grade 4 primary students into confident, disciplined, high- achieving students for Grade 5.
Change from Within (CFW)
· The Change from Within (CFW), a programme developed in 1992 by the University of the West Indies, Mona, is aimed at curbing the incidence of violence and anti-social behaviour in schools by taking a whole-school approach to the question, building self-esteem among the students in the schools and thereby improving overall performance and reducing violence. The interventions are not just for students, but include strategies to motivate teachers and build leadership.
· Schools across Jamaica have long maintained the tradition of uniformed groups, clubs and societies. It is a fact that students who are members of uniformed groups are more disciplined as they conform to rules, regulations and general law and order.
· Currently, there are more than 600 uniformed groups in schools which include an addition of 205 new groups to assist with character development among students. Plans are advanced to expand these groups in 2015/2016.
· To deepen the re-socialisation of our students as well as their competencies in literacy and numeracy, schools will be required to spend a significant amount of time on these areas at grade seven from this year.
· The school cannot do this re-socialisation alone. We need parents and members of the community on board.