'Time Out' facility for education ministry's Region Four next year
Education Minister Ruel Reid is hopeful that the Ministry of Education will be able to open a new 'time-out' facility in its Region Four division by next academic year after two similar facilities were opened recently in Kingston and Manchester to rehabilitate students with behavioural issues.
Reid gave the projected timeline while speaking to journalists following his keynote address at the Association of Principals and Vice-Principals' 26th annual conference yesterday.
The conference was held at the Jewel Grande Hotel in Rose Hall, St James, under the theme "Ignite and Empower - Strategic priorities for 21st century school leaders".
According to Reid, the ministry is currently trying to find a suitable location to house the facility, which he said is needed at this time.
"The facility is necessary, based on all the social issues we have down here, and we are really just trying to identify a proper location for it. I would want to do it for the next academic year to get everything in place," said Reid.
"There was one place that we had identified, but there were some tenancy issues in terms of persons utilising the space, and we haven't been able to acquire that facility. I will be talking further to Dr Michelle Pinnock [regional director for Region Four] to see where we can find."
Last month, the Ministry of Education established one time-out facility at the Alpha Boys' School in Kingston and another at the St John Boscoe Boys' Home in Mandeville, Manchester, to rehabilitate students who display behavioural problems. Twelve other facilities are expected to be opened across the island.
The facilities will provide psychological and psychiatric support as part of the rehabilitative process to reform problem students who have been withdrawn from their schools.
In his address to the principals and vice-principals, Reid noted that schools should not suspend students without also seeking to reform their behaviour.
"We certainly understand that in cases where students have had to be withdrawn for a while, we can't do suspension without a programme to rehabilitate them," Reid told the educators.