10 April, 2009


School Violence Monitor. The Report of the Task Force on School Violence is now some two weeks old. We in Anguilla are concerned to learn what the Ministry's response is.

Has every manager in the Ministry of Education read it?

Have they given their advice to the Minister?

Have they urged him to accept the Report, or has it been rejected?

Has the Minister tasked anyone to put together the Ministry's response?

Or, will the Report just be allowed to die from neglect. That, after all, is what happened to the School Violence Committee Report of 2005.

No doubt, it was in an effort to prevent this outcome that the Task Force made its first recommendation. This reads:

Immediate Action:

1. Form a committee, or identify an individual, that is responsible for monitoring and reporting on the progress of implementing these recommendations.”

Anyone who is exposed to our High School knows that in recent years we have lost a lot of students due to the present neglectful system. Without the implementation of a new policy of prevention, education and treatment in the areas of drug and alcohol use, conflict resolution and sex education, continuing generations of our students will be lost.

I would suggest that what the Minister has to do is to twist arms, berate his staff, until results appear. They must find the right person for the job. They must provide the appropriate resources. There is no need for any more committees. The period for hand-wringing and hair-pulling over the state of our secondary education system must be declared ended. This is the time for firm action.

The Report provides a plan of action.

Now, we need a School Violence Tsar to monitor and report on how well the Department is implementing it.


  1. I fing it somewhat surprising that no-one has commented yet. I wonder why? Could it be that no-one really cares or that those who do are tired of having suggestions thrown back in their faces, or who really cares about the throwaway children? The government can spend thousands on a plane service, but if we don't care of our children whow if we don't care of will help to destroy the tourism area. Times change and so must approaches to problems.

  2. Making suggestions about education is like throwing messages to someone who we believe is sitting at a desk in a dark, bottomless pit. We don't know what happens to our messages. We're not even certain that there's anyone down there. If there is, he or she is embattled, defensive and silent, and has enough problems without having to deal with our helpful suggestions.

    Both the Department and Ministry of Education are traditionally faceless in Anguilla. To assume a public position of leadership is to become a political target for all that has gone wrong with our young people.

    And so we have managers, and an us-versus-them mentality that creates animosity, inequity, and of course apathy. Leadership that is oppressive permits oppressive attitudes. Too bad for the students. Many of them could have benefitted from an education.

  3. What are we teaching our children? Apathy towards & distrust/cynicism of the political process. How will things get better if there is no public leadership in such an important dept. as education? We need someone who can not only lead but communicate with the public so as to get parents & students involved in changing the way things are!!! Why can we not teach the children by our example that they can help to change the status quo and make it better? Instead of sitting around complaining and criticizing someone else, do something!


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