Abuse of children will not be tolerated in education system
- Bisnauth

Stabroek News
October 18, 2000

Education Minister, Dr Dale Bisnauth has stated emphatically that abuse will not be tolerated in the education system.

The minister made that declaration Monday while delivering the feature address at the commissioning of the Providence Primary School at Providence Public Road, East Bank Demerara.

Dr Bisnauth stated that "we will have to make a distinction between discipline and abuse in the education system," the Guyana Information Services (GIS) yesterday reported him as saying.

The minister appealed to teachers to develop the capacity for the care of the nation's most priceless resource, its children, and to "teach them well not only in the delivery of the curriculum but also in the way you treat with them," the GIS said.

Minister Bisnauth stressed that "it is incumbent upon those who deliver the curriculum to deliver not only mathematics, English, social studies and science as important as these subjects are, but to deliver (them) in such a way that something of your own caring personality, interest and ethics will communicate as well."

The problem of child abuse in schools was recently highlighted in a Sunday Stabroek story when the newspaper disclosed that a survey on child abuse in secondary schools here had revealed significant abuse by teachers, including sexual abuse, in ways that violated the rights of the child, education ministry policies and state laws.

Citing recent contacts with parents who drew his attention to specific instances of child abuse, Dr Bisnauth said that in a particular case he was so horrified by what he saw that he instructed the mother to write him a report and to take the matter to the police immediately.

The minister, expressing his concern in another case where a Prep A child was reportedly boxed systematically, noted that a Teachers' Training College graduate who was involved was educated in psychology, child behaviour, and issues relevant to discipline, but had forgotten to apply what she had learnt.

He warned that teachers using excessive force to discipline students "will not be tolerated."

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