A lot more positive messages and a safe and nurturing environment for the youth are what this island???s Education Minister Ronald Jones wants to see.

Speaking recently at the inaugural awards ceremony of the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP) at Queen???s College, Husbands, St. James, Minister Jones said more parents and teachers needed to become engaged with the youth.

While he stressed that this should begin in the home, as it was the first place where nurturing took place, the Minister encouraged parents to guide children along their journey, rather than decry them.

???Bring up the child in the way that it should grow???so that when that child becomes older, [and] more mature, that the path which that child continues on is the one which was properly built, and you would see your ???parent finger prints??? embedded on the psyche of that child, not on the back of the child, because there are also fingerprints embedded on the backs of too many of our children,??? Mr. Jones added.

He observed that there were ???too many screams and loud voices and harsh words embedded in the minds of too many children??? and they came from homes and communities that were hostile in some respects. Adding that adults must always be in a reflective mode, Mr. Jones said they should ask themselves, ???How am I contributing to what I see around me each and every day????

In his address, Chief Education Officer, Laurie King, pointed out that a school enrolled in the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme was concerned with harnessing the full involvement and support of all parties in a position to facilitate children???s rights to a quality education.

These parties, he explained included parents, communities, teachers, principals, education planners and civil society groups. ???Their involvement enables schools and our education system to provide conditions and resources necessary for achieving the quality standards that the SPBMP envisions. In such a classroom, the teacher is mentor, the facilitator of learning and the coordinator of learning activities.

???Creativity, openness, flexibility, tolerance, good leadership and organisational skills become the avenues through which effective learning and teaching is maintained. Classroom management that enhances learning is child-centered and promotes active learning. The teacher???s role must be to observe, discuss, probe, extend ideas and engage students in meaningful positive learning experiences,??? Mr. King pointed out.

SPBMP awards were given to Vasia Boyce, a student of St. Alban???s Primary, Misha Nelson, a student of Combermere, Janelle Watkins, a teacher at West Terrace Primary, David Cumberbatch, a parent from Christ Church Girls???; and janitor Marlene Thomas from Christ Church Girls???. Williams Industries also received an award for its community service and involvement with the programme.


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