Recognizing the importance of discipline in schools, today the Ministry of Education (MoE) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched a ‘cluster approach’ training workshop for monitoring the implementation of positive disciplinary methods across schools in Guyana at the National Center for Resource Development (NCERD).
It is envisioned that the ‘Positive Discipline Approach’ will provide greater respectful and caring interactions among all stakeholders in the learning process.
Addressing participants at the workshop, Assistant Chief Education Officer (ACEO) Primary, Mr. Owen Pollard said that the intervention is a timely one for the education system. Pollard charged the participants to reflect of what is happening in their schools and how they can work to improve discipline.
The Education Officer noted that we are living in a modern era and modern approaches should be adopted. He said that there are other approaches that can be embraced to inculcate proper disciple among children and that corporal punishment should be relegated to the annals of history.
Pollard said that it is important that children are fully occupied when at school so that misdemeanour can be mitigated. Further, Pollard said that teachers should constantly walk the schools and corridors to know what is happening, “make your presence felt, if the children recognize your presence this will help in tackling disciplinary issues”.
UNICEF Education specialist, Ms. Audrey Rodrigues said that her organization is pleased to be associated with the initiative and pledged to continue to support the MoE in similar and other programmes. Rodrigues said that it is UNICEF vision to see every child happy and willing to participate in whatever is happening in school and she was positive that the workshop will help in this regard. “we want happy children in a safe, inviting warm environment”.
The Child-Friendly Schools Programme of which one of its components is ‘Positive Discipline’ has had some successes over the years. To enhance the programme of ‘Positive Discipline’ several interactive activities were done such as jingles, debates and workshops for teachers and parents.
In the pilot stage of this programme, many children across Guyana became advocates for the use of positive discipline through their participation in jingles and poster competitions.