Barbados has made great strides with implementing the Schools??? Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP) across its education landscape.

This was revealed today by Education Officer and Focal Point for SPBMP, Janice Reid, as she spoke following a session of the regional Focal Point meeting, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and the United Nations Children???s Fund, at the Blue Horizon Hotel, Worthing, Christ Church.

???We have our nursery, primary and secondary schools on board. We have about 31 per cent of the secondary schools but we could say we have about 100 per cent of our nursery and primary schools and what we have also done is trained the teachers, principals, parent volunteers and parents,??? she said.

Mrs. Reid further noted that the Ministry was looking at alternatives to corporal punishment and developing a booklet on the issue that could address ???time out???, behavioural contracts and anecdotal records, among others.

She added too that the Ministry was ensuring Health and Family Life Education was taught throughout the school system in order to instruct students how to be tolerant and resolve conflict in the right way.

Pointing out that the Barbados Government Information Service had produced documentaries and the Ministry had disseminated a number of public service announcements on radio, she acknowledged that Corporate Barbados – such as Courts and Purity Bakeries – was on board, providing assistance in the form of signage and marketing, respectively.

The Education Officer also stressed there were successful stories in both public and private schools on the island with all involved having bought into SPBMP.

She said: ???We have had interviews with the parents; we have had them say: ???something is happening at this school; tell me what is happening that I can help my child at home???, and we had some schools give a home matrix so they can actually have these concepts replicated at home.

“We also had the principals telling us: ???we don???t have to use the straps much. We have these things in place. We speak to the children, we respect them and they respect us???.???

Meanwhile, Senior Education Officer (with responsibility for Nursery and Primary), Joy Adamson, in substantiating the success of the programme, revealed that the regional participants, having toured Deacons Primary School yesterday, ???were very impressed with the display, the signage, the mural, the rich classrooms with all of the affirmations on the wall???.

???We can see the improvement and the change in the atmosphere – the whole ethos of the school,??? she said, adding that they were equally impressed with St. Leonard???s Boys??? Secondary School.

Mrs. Adamson agreed that generally parents at all schools were embracing the programme and noted that when they participated in workshops, the parents seemed appreciative of the SPBMP strategies. She cited the People???s Cathedral Primary School as an example.

???The parents are welcoming the initiative; they are buying into the strategies we are sharing with them and hopefully they would put these things in place at home and then we would have the entire society actually adopting the principles that we want. But generally, they are agreeing that this is needed and that we need to give them alternatives that they can use at home as well.???

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