Saturday, July 4th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: School may be out for the July-August break but that doesn’t mean teachers are taking it easy. A two-day workshop to train trainers in implementing models of positive discipline in schools concluded today in Belize City.
The genesis of this workshop lies in the decision of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 2012 to outlaw use of corporal punishment in schools. There was loud outcry from teachers at the time; they even protested on the National Assembly steps in Belmopan.
However, the decision was pushed through and the Ministry implemented a task force to take recommendations on developing a positive discipline model for students where the rod is spared, but the child is not spoiled.
We spoke to the Ministry’s coordinator for the School Counseling and Care Unit, Collin Estrada, who says the training is about being proactive, not reactive, and that counselors and teachers must be able to see beyond the child’s outward behavior to what is bothering them personally.
Approximately 30 participants from various senior administrative posts in the education system around the country, ranging from general managers to local managers to counselors, school principals and teachers learned various techniques for reinforcing and teaching positive behaviour to children.
And when kids are particularly difficult as they can be, Margarita Quan of Corozal Town’s Santa Rita Assemblies of God School says there are outside resources that teachers can call on, including community police, pastors and parents and role models.
These trainers are expected to begin imparting what they have learned to their fellows around the country during the annual Ministry-sponsored workshops in August.
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