Education Minister Doctor Gale Rigobert has described school watchmen as the unsung heroes of the school system, asserting that their sacrifice is often overlooked.
Rigobert spoke as the second cohort of watchmen began training Monday with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF).
“You are the unseen and unsung heroes in our school system,” the minister declared.
She expressed the view that every child, parent, teacher and principal depend on the watchmen to safeguard their person and the school property.
“The education system rests on your shoulders,” Rigobert declared.
“That is no small feat. That is no small responsibility,” the minister asserted.
She said it was for that reason that she wanted to encourage the participants in the training exercise to embrace the training opportunity by coming in with fresh and open minds.
“You are receiving the best there is to offer on this Island, so I want you to be open minded,” Rigobert told the opening ceremony of the training course.
She observed that not only will the training better equip the participants to perform their duties, but it will also offer them additional professional pathways to pursue.
Rigobert said according to her understanding, the watchmen will be receiving training equivalent to that of a Special Police Constable (SPC).
The minister explained that if she is correct in her thinking, it means that participants who are ambitious, young and able-bodied as almost all of the attendees, may want to consider a career transition.
“So that is the additional bonus – the additional opportunity that this training affords you,” Rigobert told the 30 watchmen in attendance.
The need for the initiative was recognised following a series of school break-ins in 2016, when the Ministry of Education partnered with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force to provide the security training for watchmen.
The training will last for two weeks and is being conducted at the Police Academy at La Toc.