New Minister of Education and Deputy Premier, Hon. Dr. Natalio Wheatley has signaled plans to have strict measures to hold students accountable and tackle indiscipline implemented.
Speaking during the launch of Education Week 2019, Hon. Dr. Wheatley, an educator by profession, stated, “The importance of discipline cannot be over-emphasised. Students must obey teachers and abide by the rules of the school. There have been too many fights, acts of bullying and outright unacceptable behavior among students.”
Last year, there were several fights among students, with one even escalating into a public brawl, which went viral on social media after the video was circulated.
Because of these incidents, students were even banned from entering the Pier Park without being accompanied by a parent, however, the ban was later removed.
On Sunday, March 10, Hon. Wheatley declared, “I underscore the zero-tolerance policy for such behaviour. The details of this stance will be further discussed and all students will be informed and will be held responsible for any breach of the behavioural code.”
“I reiterate, there will be zero-tolerance for negative behaviour. We will not allow such behavior to define us as a people, not now and not ever. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments,” he stated.
The new Minister assured that he would be taking very strict measures to ensure discipline in the classroom, adding, “I am not going to tolerate these fights that you see over social media.”
“I’m going to use whatever power is available to me as a member of Cabinet, as Minister of Education, and as a Legislator in the House of Assembly (HoA), to ensure that we do not allow a small minority of students to disrupt the school day for everyone else. But we’ll put whatever measures in place to help support them,” he firmly reiterated.