Schools expected to follow corporal punishment guidelines
-- CEO Ed Caesar
Guyana Chronicle
March 8, 2004

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CHIEF Education Officer (CEO) Ed Caesar said Thursday that a manual on the administration of disciplinary measures in schools was developed since 2002 and circulated to teachers and administrators.

He told a press conference at National Center for Education Resource Development (NCERD) in High Street, Kingston, Georgetown, that departments, too, are expected to follow the guidelines "slavishly" when administering discipline and corporal punishment.

Mr. Caesar said the blueprint clearly sets out the steps to be taken for various forms of indiscipline.

The CEO, who offered the response in comments on a United Nations (UN) recommendation to abolish corporal punishment in schools here, said legislation is now being drafted to review and deal with the issue comprehensively.

Caesar said the objective is to create a "child friendly classroom" and the Ministry is strongly advocating that disciplinary problems with children at school have to be solved through a close alliance involving parents, teachers and the rest of the community.

According to him, parents need to be role models with respect to discipline but many of them are guilty of not setting the right example for their children.

"Many do not spend time talking to their children," he added.

As regards participation by private schools in the National Athletics, Swimming and Cycling Championships, Caesar said, while the logistics have not been worked out and there is an absence of documentation in relation to such institutions, their students should not be prevented if they so desire to participate to develop their talents.

Immediate Past President of Guyana Teachers Union (GTU), Mr. Lance Baptiste had been quoted in another section of the media as saying that the championships have always been governed by rules that did not cater for participation of private schools.

"We had been governed by certain rules for 40-odd years and those rules did do not cater for private schools," he stated.

Baptiste said GTU is still awaiting word from Ministry of Education on whether private schools could take part in the upcoming 44th championship being sponsored by Banks Malta.