ON the heels of Cabinet’s endorsement to suspend and eventually abolish corporal punishment in schools in Saint Lucia, the Department of Education, Innovation and Gender Relations has announced that it will host several re-tooling and upskilling exercises in the coming weeks and months as part of an implementation plan for the commencement of the new direction.
A working committee has been shouldered with the responsibility to oversee the implementation process. As such the department will, in due course, provide a schedule to respective stakeholders to prepare for the May first suspension of corporal punishment and its eventual abolition by May 2020.
As the Department continues to encourage positive behaviour interventions among other pro-child friendly modes of engagement for the positive holistic development of our nation’s children, it will continue to ensure that stakeholders are adequately equipped to move in the new direction with the optimism that an education system free of corporal punishment is indeed possible. The department also remains committed to ensuring that schools subscribe to and practice UNICEF supported child friendly schools’ framework as a means of addressing violence against children.
The suspension and eventual banning of corporal punishment is in keeping with Saint Lucia’s obligations with various conventions that it has signed and agreed to, to ensure the country fulfills its mandate to protect students.