A student of the New Amsterdam Technical Institute (NATI), who severely assaulted three schoolmates, has been suspended and all of them would be counselled, the Ministry of Education said.
The ministry says the four students were recruited under the Ministry of Public Security’s Citizen’s Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) for at-risk youth.
The perpetrator told authorities he had been also bullied.
“The student who assaulted the other three students has been suspended. He is undergoing counselling assisted by the CSSP,” the Education Ministry said.
He had informed that he has been a victim of bullying by his class and schoolmates.
The decision to suspend and counsel the students was prompted on March 26 by a video recording of an incident involving NATI students which was brought to the attention of the Ministry of Education.
According to the Ministry, the students involved in the incident were interviewed in the presence of their parents and guardians.
The students who were beaten would also receive counselling as coordinated by the CSSR counsellor, the NATI Welfare Officer and the Ministry of Education’s Senior Guidance and Counselling Officer.
Meanwhile, NATI has decided to launch an anti-bullying campaign “to further address the issue of bullying on a bigger scale” by ensuring that students are sensitized on the negative effects of such activity.
The ministry says the Institute is to be declared a ‘No-Bullying’ institution.’
Authorities said NATI and CSSP have been conducting welfare and counselling sessions with the CSSP students including conflict management and anger control and management. These services have also been extended to the entire NATI student body.
An initial brief meeting was held with the Administration of the Institute, Senior Officers of the CSSP, some members of the Board of Governors of NATI and the Assistant Chief Education Officer – Technical.
NATI’s school administration also reportedly held an assembly with the entire student population to reiterate the Ministry of Education’s non-tolerance to violence.
“The students were also reminded of their signed commitment, at the time of admission to the Institute, to obey the rules by ensuring that matters are reported to the school as against taking matters into one’s hands,” the ministry added.
A meeting was also held with the academic staff of the institution.
The Education Ministry said among the recommendations is the holding of more assemblies at which sections of the rules and procedures must be discussed.
“At these assemblies, students will be encouraged to report incidents and the procedure for doing so must be explained,” the ministry said in a statement.