Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said his ministry intends to clamp down on acts of bullying and fights by tweaking the existing policies governing students.
Dr Wheatley made that remark at Friday’s sitting of the House of Assembly following what he said were a series of unacceptable behaviour being displayed by youngsters.
“These acts are posted on Facebook and circulated around via other means such as WhatsApp videos, creating a very negative image on the school environment, the students and the education system as a whole. As Minister for Education, I will not tolerate or condone this or any form of violence or aggression by our students,” the minister said.
Zero tolerance approach
Effective this week, the Minister said meetings will be had with stakeholders on the issue.
He said: “I will begin discussions on how to deal with this unacceptable behaviour and further how students engaging in these acts should be dealt with.”
He continued: “There are already in place several policies that are used by the schools; however, the intention is to put in place additional measures including adjustments to the Education Act as necessary.”
Tightening cyber laws
Meanwhile, Dr Wheatley said the ministry will also take a look at legislation that governs the territory’s cyber activity.
“Therefore with the support of the Premier and your government, we will explore possible any amendments to the cybercrime law and any other legislation so we can protect our children and teach them that actions have consequences,” he said.
He further said the misuse of social media has scared many young people.
“When we were young, we made foolish mistakes, but in those days there were no social media to record and expose those mistakes to the world. Our goal as parents is to protect our children, but we do not have adequate protection from the sharing of this information with malicious intent.”
He said that in keeping with the theme for this academic year, ‘be disciplined, achieve excellence’ the Ministry of Education will continue their attempts to provide students with positive behaviour management techniques.
This, he said, will be done through initiatives such as the ‘Core Values Programme.’
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