Retiring Principal Calls For Cellphone Rethink

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Retiring principal of the St. Leonard???s Boys??? Secondary School, Joseph King, is making an appeal to Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, to rethink the policy of banning cellular phones in schools.

He made this appeal today while delivering the Principal???s report at the school???s Speech Day and Prize-Giving Ceremony, which was held at the school under the theme: Celebrating the Joy of the Journey ??? Reflecting on our Successes.

Mr. King told his audience, which included officials from the Ministry of Education, that the school system in Barbados was a good one that had ???withstood the test of time???. However, he noted that recent activities have shown that adjustments, where necessary, can and will be made.

In light of this, the retiring head acknowledged that the Education Act which guided teachers was a good one, but admitted that it was time for it to be adjusted to meet the changing needs of ???these modern times???.

Mr. King noted: ???To this end, I am now calling for the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation to give consideration to the fact that the current cell phone policy in the schools has served its purpose but is now outdated.

“Cell phones as they were then, when this policy was developed, are now a thing of the past. This new era of communication devices embodies voice, data stream, and can now perform like the computer with the capabilities of the sophisticated camera.???

He continued: ???A new communication policy must be considered and careful consideration should be given to the positive impact these devices can have on students??? education.

“For instance, students can now engage in educational research in their time; video imaging and e-reading, including embracing the concept of the e-library from which students can access their school books through an electronic book scheme; as well as utilise these devices??? recording and storage capabilities.???

Mr. King said these positives which the modern teacher can use as effective teaching and learning tools in the classroom were remodelled with access capabilities under the Educational Sector Enhancement Programme.

He pointed out however, that did not mean there were no negatives but argued that a good and clearly defined usage policy in schools could address the negatives.

Meanwhile in the feature address, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Maxine McClean, urged the students to have a passion for life and to seize all opportunities presented to them in life.

She advised them to use their time at St. Leonard’s as ???preparation for life in all spheres???. ???It is, therefore, important that you students recognise the purpose of your time at St. Leonard???s Boys??? School???

“You must all contribute to ensuring that the students recognise and indeed understand that your time spent at the school is more than years of academic and technical education, it is intended for the preparation for life [be it] spiritual, social, economic???,???She added.

During the ceremony, the students received prizes and trophies for outstanding academic work from first to fourth forms, excellence in Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, and departmental and special prizes. The most outstanding student for the academic year 2013-2014 was Sheridon Browne.

julie.carrington@barbados.gov.bb

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