Minister of Education and Human Resource Development Ronald Jones????

Government will soon introduce measures to curb students travelling on certain public service vehicles.

This was announced by Minister of Education and Human Resource Development, Ronald Jones, during a meeting with Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools, yesterday, at his Ministry. The meeting was held to find solutions to stemming the continued deviant behavior by some school children.

Mr. Jones stated that Cabinet was going to introduce legislation probably "within the next six or so months, to ban all students from travelling on minibuses, etc."

He added: "Students who travel the buses back and forth and don’t get to school until 10 [o’clock]… We’re having a conversation with the Transport Board to see what mechanisms we can introduce from Transport, Government and [the] Ministry, with the support of the wider Cabinet, to ensure that …if they [school children] enter the bus, there must be something which says that this child entered this bus at 6:45 a.m. but they are reaching your school [late] …So that you would be able to track to see if they spent the last two or three hours away from school."

Mr. Jones admitted that although this new regulation would place some additional pressure on the Transport Board, he explained Government would make provisions "to bring the stock up to scratch to move our children to and from school".

The Education Minister also expressed concern about some students being photographed in sexually revealing positions. He pointed out that these photos were making their way onto the social networks, thus damaging the image of the students and the schools, by extension.

"We live in a time where technology is pervasive and cheap phones have everything built into them. These pictures are going all over the world. We don’t control those social networks," Mr. Jones warned.

The Education Minister told the gathering: "I am bothered. I am concerned. I know that you feel as though your hands are tied. The Education Act itself does not provide the kind of support that principals need to deal with the changing nature of society and that is under revision and you will be further participants … but with further revisions you will be re-involved to ensure that you get the best [out of it].

"An Act doesn’t change behaviour, but it gives you certain levels of control within the system and we have to bring further levels of control," Mr. Jones stressed.

Yesterday’s discussions also centred on the behaviour of some students at Inter-School sports.?? clashley@barbados.gov.bb

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