Dr. Kerry King (left)??addressing principals and team leaders on the Schools’ Positive Behaviour Management Programme during a training workshop hosted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund,??at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings Christ Church.????

The challenge in education is not simply to get students into school, but to improve the overall quality of schooling and address threats to participation.

Acting Chief Education Officer (CEO) Laurie King, underscored this today, at the Savannah Hotel, while addressing the start of a two-day workshop.?? It was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), for secondary school principals.

Mr. King observed: "If both quality and access are tackled, secondary school students are more likely to fully complete this stage with the requisite skills and aptitudes for good citizenship. There is a definite link between access and quality that makes the latter an integral part of any strategy for achieving education.?? School quality must, therefore, be of central interest to policy makers and practitioners concerned with secondary education. Quality schools are also effective schools."

UNICEF??official Elaine King (left) in conversation with Deputy Chief Education Officer, Joy Gittens (second left, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, ‘, NULL, NULL, 0); Education Officer, Janice Reid??(third left)??and??National Technical Officer with the??Schools’ Positive Behaviour Management Programme, Nicole Phillips??(right) at the start of the training workshop hosted by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the United Nations Children’s Fund,??at the Savannah Hotel, Hastings Christ Church.??

??And, he outlined several characteristics of an effective school to participants. Among these were: a clear and focused vision/mission; an instructional leader; high expectations; positive home and school partnership; frequent monitoring and assessments; safe and orderly school environment and learning opportunities for all. "The Schools Positive Behaviour Management Programme (SPBMP) caters to and builds all these characteristics," the Acting CEO maintained.

He added that the SPBMP’s purpose was to move schools and educational systems progressively towards quality standards, addressing all elements that influence the well-being and the rights of the child as a learner and the main beneficiary of teaching, while improving school functions in the process.

The SPBMP (formerly called the Child Friendly Schools programme) is also guided by three basic principles, namely child centredness; democratic participation and inclusiveness (equity). In a Positive Behaviour Management 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 are maintained.

Classroom management that enhances learning is child-centred 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 explained.??

Meanwhile, Deputy Representative of the UNICEF, Violet Speek-Warnery, said "it was still early days" for the SPBMP in Barbados, but already it had led to situations where adults are given better opportunities to practise and participate in school governance and feel more connected to their schools. She added that students feel that they are disciplined more fairly and in a positive manner, which improves relationships among them and their peers and also with their teachers and principals.

Mrs. Speek-Warnery stressed: "Students become well or better behaved and this leads to much more civil classrooms. Students are exposed to life skills such as conflict resolution, which helps them to deal more positively with conflict at school, at home and in the society.

"Parents are given an opportunity to be more meaningfully involved in the life of school and, therefore, enhancing the relationship between them and the teachers and … them and their children. Students are also encouraged to practise healthy habits at school and this may reduce some of the hyperactivity some teachers complain of [that] is affecting their classroom."????????

The two-day workshop aims to aid over 60 principals and team leaders in acquiring knowledge, developing abilities and understanding concepts in a holistic manner. It will later be followed by the roll out of the SPBMP in an additional 12 secondary schools.??


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