A number of issues will be deliberated when education officers across the region meet here this week to assess the progress of the Child Friendly School (CFS) initiative, or the Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP), as it is called in Barbados.

The Focal Point meeting, a joint effort by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation and the United Nations Children???s Fund, starts tomorrow Wednesday, October 1, and runs until Friday, October 3, at the Blue Horizon Hotel, Worthing, Christ Church.

On the first day, regional participants will, through visiting four schools, familiarise themselves with what Barbados has achieved in its implementation of the SPBMP. The schools are Deacon???s Primary, St. Leonard???s Boys??? Secondary, The People???s Cathedral Primary and The Seventh-Day Adventist Secondary.

Discussions from Thursday, October 2 to Friday, October 3 will centre around each territory???s efforts at implementing the programme; the formalising of a policy document; the existence of school councils; the extent to which schools have embraced Health and Family Life Education; as well as the use of alternative disciplinary strategies.??The two-day deliberations run from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. each day.

The Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme is guided by three basic principles, namely child centredness, democratic participation and inclusiveness (equity). The key objective is to bring behavioural change to classrooms with the assistance of principals, teachers, parents/guardians and the community, as a whole.

In an SPBMP classroom, the teacher is the mentor, facilitator of learning and coordinator of learning activities. Creativity, openness, flexibility, tolerance, good leadership and organisational skills become the avenues through which effective learning and teaching are maintained.


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