Students of the Gordon & Walcott Methodist School are being equipped with life skills to cope with the task of taking on greater responsibilities and a supportive role among their peers.
This week, students, teachers and officials from the education ministry gathered at the school, on lower Darling Road, for the installment of the school’s Junior Safety Monitors Programme with the aim of taking safety and disaster risk reduction to another level.
The elementary institution re-launched its Junior Safety Monitors programme, which was stopped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The programme was developed following a course conducted by CDEMA in the Modern Safe Schools programme and seeks to train selective students in various aspects of school safety and disaster risk reduction. The initiative also seeks to instill positive leadership skills geared towards a culture of safety, and discipline at the school.
While addressing the students gathered at the enrollment ceremony, school principal Margaret Gabriel underlined the importance of safety as a critical component of the learning environment and for the longevity of this pioneer programme to instill and groom discipline and leadership skills in students.
“Our Junior Safety Monitors programme develops student leaders …our future leaders. They are given the opportunity to positively influence their peers…and they command the respect of our peers,” said Gabriel.
“So they are well on their way to developing the skills of future leaders, the principal added.
Describing the junior monitors as “special guests”, Gabriel said it was pleasing to gather for such a supportive venture
The students were trained in areas such as Fire Safety, First Aid/CPR, Conflict Resolution and School Safety.
Acting Chief Education Officer, Dawson Ragunanan underscored the importance of the program and how it is that young children like these should be emulated, to help other children gain knowledge on how to act in instances where their safety and that of their peers may be compromised.
“These things are realities within our system that we cannot run away from …and we have to face them,” said Ragunanan.
He said a “better way” to overcome obstacles along the way is to ensure “that we equip our children and that we provide them with the kind of skills that they need.”
Taking into context the imminent dangers posed by natural hazards and towards the preservation and sustainability of people’s habitat, Ragunanan stressed that the present environment “necessitates the need for us to embrace the disaster management framework.”
The junior monitors act as peer leaders to support the rolling out of the school’s disaster management plans.
Four outstanding past students from the 2019 to 2020 School Safety Monitor Group were awarded at the enrollment ceremony for their past exploits.