Member of Parliament for St Catherine, Eastern Denise Joyce Daley, is advocating for teachers in training to spend one year of their education process being trained as social workers to help tackle indiscipline in schools.
The Minister notes that teachers often have a hard time maintaining discipline in classrooms, and there are not enough guidance counsellors available to assist. For this reason, she believes trainee teachers must undergo some form of social work training.
“My recommendation [is that] out of the three years in teacher’s college, one year must be used to assist, to train teachers as social workers. Madam Speaker, with technology and so on you don’t need three years to train anymore, so take one year out of it to help with social work,” said the member of parliament.
Daley was making her contributions to the 2023-2024 Sectoral Debates in Parliament yesterday (June 7).
“This skill would give the teacher the privilege to address and identify the day-to-day challenges that students face. And this madam speaker will take the burden off the new guidance counsellors,” she explained.
“We know we don’t have enough money to employ so many guidance counsellors and teachers. So let us equip our regular teachers so that they will be able to identify some of these small things before they become large,” she added.
Daley acknowledged the work done by the Ministry of Education, but said more needs to be done to reduce the burden on both teachers and counsellors.
In May 2022, the Ministries of Education, and Justice signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate restorative justice training for parents, educators, and students of 207 public, primary and secondary schools.
The course is designed to support school leaders in creating safe environments that will reduce school-related violence and gender-based violence. Thirty thousand additional students, parents, and educators from 500 public schools are to be trained in restorative justice practices this fiscal year.