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500 more guidance officers, counsellors for T&T schools

PORT OF SPAIN — In an attempt to reduce dysfunctional behaviour among secondary school pupils, the Ministry of Education will be employing more guidance counsellors and officers and set up centres to deal with indiscipline.

Yesterday, Education Minister Dr. Tim Gopeesingh met with 134 secondary school principals at Rudranath Capildeo Learning Resource Centre, Couva.

Gopeesingh said in all secondary schools there should be one guidance officer and one guidance counsellor. In government secondary schools, there will also be two health and safety officers. The minister said there were 170 persons already in the school system.

And discussions were ongoing with denominational schools concerning the health and safety officers.

Gopeesingh said: “Cabinet recently passed a note for 500 (guidance officers and counsellors) more to come into the system. We are looking to setting up five centres in Trinidad and one in Tobago with the Tobago House Assembly, to have a counselling clinic where we will have educational, behavioural and clinical psychologists stationed on a daily basis from the cadre of human resources that we will be bringing in to work with the students who have difficulties, and who have exhibited some aberrant and dysfunctional behaviour.

“We are moving to help reduce the amount of dysfunctionality in our school population and, of course, improving academic performance, improving school-based management systems and moving to the core of moving the students to the world of work where they will be able to fit in very easily.”

Gopeesingh asked principals to set up their own school management team to work on a regular basis to deal with issues such as indiscipline and student development. They were encouraged to meet at least once a week.

Principals were also informed they will soon be provided with a complete compilation of the circulars and regulations issued by the Ministry over the years. (Express)

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