Minister Evans MacNeil Rogers is to be congratulated. This Blog is not in the business of publishing “feel-good” articles about anyone. Especially not about a Minister of Government noted mainly for his overweening vanity and his noticeable lack of competence. That, at any rate, is how our Minister of Education usually appears to me in relation to his departments of health and education.
But, the publication of the 2009 Report from the Task Force on School Violence in last week's 27 March 2009 issue of The Anguillian Newspaper was different from what I have come to expect from him. Seldom before has a Government Minister, far less the Minister of Education, released or authorised the release of such a sensitive Report to the public. And, to have done it a mere matter of days after the Report was presented to his Government! I am stunned. Is there any hope that this radically new venture into openness, transparency and good governance can continue into the future? Dare we even hope that the recommendations will be accepted and put into effect without undue delay? We shall ignore the rhetoric and look at the actions that will be taken in the coming months before we answer that question.
The Report is to be found in full spread over three pages in the issue of The Anguillian Newspaper of 27 March 2009. It makes for fascinating reading. You have to hope that all Anguillian parents and adults will read it. It is very sobering in both its findings and its recommendations.
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a link to the copy of the Report in the newspaper. I have searched the various sections, but cannot find it. It is not in the Front Page, News, or Local News sections. I did find a short article by Task Force chairperson, Peter Wolinsky. A short article is not as good as the actual Report, which is to be found in full in the paper version of the Anguillian.
I had hopes that I would find and link you to a copy of the Report on the government website. Hopes dashed! Not even a mention of it, though I gave the IT Department a full week to put a copy up on the site.
We can only hope that this ground-breaking Report will not receive the same treatment that the Minister gave to the 2005 Report of the School Violence Committee: relegation to the bottom drawer of the Ministry's collective filing cabinet.
If I get the chance, I would like to discuss some of the recommendations with you in future issues of this blog.