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Teachers told to stop beating students, focus on counselling

President David Granger and Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine greet each other at D'Urban Park during the Education Month Rally.

President David Granger and Minister of Education, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine greet each other at D’Urban Park during the Education Month Rally.

Education Minister Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine on Friday called on teachers to stop beating students  and instead establish a counselling mechanism within the education system.

Delivering remarks at the Education Month rally held at D’urban Park, Dr. Roopnaraine said that corporal punishment must be ousted from schools by “taking the stick and the wild-cane out of the school.” He stated that discipline must be dealt with in a humane and a modern fashion.

Discipline, he said, will occur, and if not dealt with then it will take away from the main focus of education. As such, the Minister urged the development of counseling units in the education system.

Dr. Roopnaraine also made mention of the implementation of a survey system targeted at looking into the welfare and condition of the schools. Added to this, he said, there will also be the reintroduction of music, more specifically choirs, into the school curriculum.

The Minister said there are also plans to look into the area of CSEC students writing many subjects and the extent to which they are benefiting from it.

That, he said, will require the parents input, which calls for the strengthening of Parent Teachers Associations. On this note, he stated that there should be a fruitful synergy between teachers and parents in order to help students succeed.

When he reiterated that “I believe that we need to reward our teachers more than we do… because they are producing the Guyanese of the future” the gathering erupted into applause. However, there was no announcement of an increase in salaries, allowances or concessions. “They are producing the Guyanese of the future, the Guyanese of the 21st century.”

Both the Minister of Education and President David Granger were in agreement that there is a race between education and catastrophe.

During his remarks at the rally, President Granger emphasized the need for parents increased involvement in their children’s education since, he said, it is the parents who determine whether the child succeeds or fails. The President then encouraged the males to always respect females, especially their mothers and their sisters, as women play an important role in the nurturing and success of children.

Alluding to the rigorous training and consistency needed for one to enter into and succeed at the Olympics level, the President encouraged students to work just as hard to succeed in their NGSA and CSEC exams. Students were also encouraged to be “A students”, that is to access education, attend school and attain the best possible marks. They were further urged to adapt an entrepreneurial mindset, which will help them in future to be their own employers.

The President also called on teachers to be involved in planting “something” around the schools, as the month of October (the month of tree planting) is just around the corner.

During his remarks, Acting Chief Education Officer Mark Hutson stated that education would not be effective without the involvement of the corporate community.

Those in attendance were entertained by popular Guyanese artistes Melissa ‘Vanilla’ Roberts and Tenecia DeFreitas and serenaded by a steel pan orchestra.