Facing Tomorrow with Today???s Students: The Stakeholders??? Perspective is the theme of an upcoming conference to be hosted by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC), Two Mile Hill, St. Michael, from Tuesday, June 17 to Wednesday, June 18.

Over 200 stakeholders from across the public and private sectors, as well as non-governmental organisations, will come together with those in the education sector for this inaugural conference that is intended to heighten awareness on behavioural issues that impact the school environment.

It will also see over 60 students from public and private secondary schools participating in sessions throughout the two days.

The conference will seek to utilise a frontal approach in addressing the issues as it provides a forum for these stakeholders to brainstorm and find solutions. Having recognised that today???s child will be tomorrow???s adult, the Ministry accepts the need to look constantly at ways of maintaining our social fabric.

The objectives of the conference are to: engage stakeholders in a collaborative discussion on the issues; create awareness of the behavioural issues facing our educational architecture; and provide a forum for intense exchange of views and ideas that occupy the education space.

The Ministry hopes at the end to design appropriate policy interventions; ensure the maintenance of the school fabric; and garner feedback from all critical stakeholders.

The conference officially opens at 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday June 17, at the LESC, with Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, delivering the feature address. UNICEF???s Deputy Representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Violet Speek-Warnery, will also address the function.

Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, will discuss the topic Defining The Role of School Management, while Deputy Chief Education Officer, Karen Best, will speak on the issue of Identifying the Five Major Issues That Confront School Management.

Among the other topics to be addressed at the conference will be: The Rights of Students – When Do They Stop, by the Ministry???s psychologist, Juanita Brathwaite; Where The Functions of the Principal Stops and The Police Starts by Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Erwin Boyce; Sexual Behaviours: What Is The Real Deal With Our Students by Alexis Nurse of the National HIV/AIDS Commission; and Being Safe on the Internet by Deon Olton from Caribbean Cyber Security Centre.


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