Education Minister Shawn Edward has expressed concern over deviant behaviour among the youth but has vowed not to give up on the nation’s restless young people.
“We are dealing with very restless society of young people, but we will never, under my ministerial watch, give up on the children of Saint Lucia irrespective of the level of deviance we see,” Edward declared.
On Monday, police announced that they had charged a fifteen-year-old male student with illegal gun possession after searching him at a secondary school in Castries.
“There will always be concerns when acts of indiscipline surface in our schools, but we can’t give up on the children,” Edward told reporters on Friday.
He recalled having said that students are products of the wider society.
As a result, the Minister noted that when acts of indiscipline, generally associated with adults, occur in schools; the question is where the youngsters learned their behaviour.
But Edward stressed that in saying so, he was not condoning school indiscipline.
“We will provide all the psycho-social support that our children need. But by the same token, we will take a very hard stance on acts of indiscipline in school to ensure that the learning environment is not compromised,” he asserted.
According to Edward, the quality of education children get will, more than anything else, determine the Saint Lucia of the future.
He said ongoing discussions are taking place regarding school security, but the situation was dynamic.
Concerning students loitering in the City after hours, Edward observed the situation needed a multi-pronged approach, including input from parents, teachers, and the police.