More girls being referred to centre for troubled students

An increasing number of young girls are being referred to the Edna Nicholls Centre, which specializes in dealing with troubled children.

Programme Coordinator Deborah Hewitt has revealed that while boys continued to outnumber girls at the institution, there was a rapidly changing demographic, particularly in the last year.   

“The data shows boys outnumber girls on the enrolment at a ratio of three to one. However, this changed slightly during the last school year where the ratio was two to one,” Hewitt said yesterday as she delivered the report for last year during the reopening of the Boscobel, St Peter facility.

Despite the growing number of female students, the programme coordinator said the sheer volume of young men referred to the centre was an indication that “our boys need positive male figure with which to identify”.

Minister of Education Ronald Jones (right) unveils the plaque at the reopening ceremony of the Edna Nicholls Centre. Looking on from left are Freida Nicholls, daughter of late educator Edna Nicholls, Programme Coordinator Deborah Hewitt and Chief Education Officer Karen Best.

Third and fourth form students account for the largest number of referrals, making the mid-adolescent group the leading participants, she said, adding that during the past academic year there was “a notable shift” to second form students.

Fighting – with or without weapons – and disrespecting people in authority were the most common reasons for referrals, while drug abuse continued to be a common denominator in delinquent students, she revealed.

“The data also reflects that one in three students test positive for drug abuse. For a test that uses 25 nanograms per millilitre for a positive result, our students tend to fall within the 300 to 500 ranges, and our highest reading was 2,998 nanograms per millilitre. In addition there were two boys and one girl who tested positive for cocaine use,” Hewitt stressed.

She suggested that the authorities were missing an ideal opportunity to use available data gathered by organisations that specialize in dealing with troubled children to help formulate strategies to tackle rising disciplinary problems in the school system.

Hewitt argued that facilities such as hers possess invaluable data, which, if tapped into by Government, could provide answers to many of the problems in the schools.

“The centre is a storehouse of information and primed for research. Such research, if done in a timely fashion, can point the direction for the relevant authorities to stem the tide of young adult anti-social behaviour in our society. Our records point to key demographics, especially in adolescent deviant behaviour,” Hewitt stressed.

7 Responses to More girls being referred to centre for troubled students

  1. JOHN GODDARD January 26, 2018 at 5:18 am

    Until we change our educational system to concentrate less on thew 11+ exam and more on helping our primary school children master the basics before being transferred to secondary schools within easy access, we are going to see an increase in delinquency among students, especially those attending schools regarded as inferior where we dump all the children who have numeracy and literacy skills deficits. Many of them are turned off from school by the time they reach secondary school and are not equipped to cope with the programme offered at school. Consequently, quite a few of them skip classes and engage in disruptive behaviour. Sooner or later they gravitate to the block where they are made to feel wanted and empowered. It is difficult to understand how a society which prides itself on being an educated people cannot see the harm being done to our children by a system which is far outdated. Is it because we are a snobbish people who want to continue boasting that our sons and daughters are attending prestigious schools like Harrison College and Queens College?
    I am sure we know that all of our secondary schools have highly qualified teachers and that the main difference between HC & Princess Margaret, for example, is student intake. Let us make sure that our students are literate and numerate and their creative and critical thinking skills are developed. Then let them be exposed to a secondary school curriculum that prepares them for a highly technological age and gives each of them a fighting chance to earn a decent living.
    A word of warning to the wise should suffice.

    Reply
  2. roger headley January 26, 2018 at 8:39 am

    “Is it because we are a snobbish people who want to continue boasting that our sons and daughters are attending prestigious schools like Harrison College and Queens College?”

    On target John – that is all it is.

    “A word of warning to the wise should suffice.” Not so much about wisdom as it is about political will

    Reply
  3. Carlisle Norville January 26, 2018 at 8:44 am

    john Goddard has made a very valuable contribution, but I must insist that if we look @ our situation from an international perspective, we would realize that developed countries realize the IMPORTANCE psychology plays in the raising of children the ministry of education & the minister of education, apparently do not understand how imperative it is for teachers trained in child psychology to be assigned to first of all kindergarten schools, & adult school. psychology is a science & it allows you to evaluate & ascertain what emotional problems the child is having, & it prescribes the necessary treatment for the particular problems, one of the factors of child psychology is making the individual feel loved, & accepting that they have value, that they are important, & that they will appreciate the good in others. ( We NEED psychology to be introduced in our school curriculum) my question is this, we have people train in criminal psychology here in Barbados,who nowhere office & go nowhere to lecture no one, we have a psychiatric hospital full of psychiatrist, who go nowhere to talk to young & mature adults ,we have psychiatric nurses who do not get involved in programmes to help young people, ( what kind of society do we live in , we all about ourselves others can drop dead ?

    Reply
  4. Carlisle Norville January 26, 2018 at 8:54 am

    john Goddard has made a very valuable contribution, but I must insist that if we look @ our situation from an international perspective, we would realize that developed countries realize the IMPORTANCE psychology plays in the raising of children the ministry of education & the minister of education, apparently do not understand how imperative it is for teachers trained in child psychology to be assigned to first of all kindergarten schools, & adult school. psychology is a science & it allows you to evaluate & ascertain what emotional problems the child is having, & it prescribes the necessary treatment for the particular problems, one of the factors of child psychology is making the individual feel loved, & accepting that they have value, that they are important, & that they will appreciate the good in others. ( We NEED psychology to be introduced in our school curriculum) my question is this, we have people train in criminal psychology here in Barbados, who sit in an office & go nowhere to lecture to no one, we have a psychiatric hospital full of psychiatrist, who go nowhere to talk to young & mature adults ,we have psychiatric nurses who do not get involved in programmes to help young people, ( what kind of society do we live in , we all about ourselves others can drop dead ?

    Reply
  5. Carlisle Norville January 26, 2018 at 9:03 am

    my fellow readers, i humbly beseech you to discard my first comments, the errors I made are corrected in my second statement ( please don’t say oh! there he goes again, with his mistakes ( wish you all an eventful day God bless)

    Reply
  6. Alex Alleyne January 26, 2018 at 8:18 pm

    Bad Girls just follow Bad Boys. that will be the findings.

    Reply
  7. Humpty dumpty January 28, 2018 at 6:51 am

    Once again, everyone is placing emphasis/blame on the Ministry, the educational system and the teachers. No one looks at the parents who are solely to blame. Parents born amd create demons and bastards and it is these demon and bastards that create havoc in the workplace and the schools. With little or no parental training these demons are the ones who spur on crime and violence. It comes from the homes and no amount of psychology and curriculum can change or undo what is socialised at home. PARENTS have to play their part and stop putting the blame on the church the teachers and school. On Friday I heard a little boy cursing, he said his parents curse at home in his presence. He also said that they don’t go to any church. How can we blame the church and the teachers for what happens in the school environment.

    Reply

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