#KINGSTON, Feb. 24 (JIS): Minister with oversight for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Karl Samuda, says strong measures will be implemented to ensure that schools are safe places for students and teachers, amid reports of violence at some institutions.
“I can assure you that we are going to take all necessary measures to put a stop to this. The measures that will have to be implemented may be harsh, but it’s something we cannot compromise, because what is happening today is totally unacceptable,” Mr. Samuda said.
The Minister was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the Ministry, Restaurants of Jamaica (through its Add Hope Feeding Initiative), and Nutrition Products Limited, at the Mona Heights Primary School in St. Andrew, on February 20.
Mr. Samuda said the measures will be discussed with the leadership of the Ministry, and that Cabinet will be briefed on the matter during its next meeting on Monday, February 24.
“We are hearing of new cases of assault against the teacher, assault among the children, and breaches of our existing fences to have access to the schools,” the Minister noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda said perimeter fences at 20 schools will be upgraded to curtail access to the institutions.
“We did a complete island wide assessment of the perimeter fences and the problems of being able to access the schools from that particular area and the cost is very prohibitive; it came to $5 billion, and we are starting this year with 20 schools,” he said.
The Minister pointed out that as resources become available, more schools will benefit from the initiative.
Through the MOU, Restaurants of Jamaica, under its KFC Add Hope Feeding Initiative, handed over a cheque valued $7.4 million to Nutrition Products Limited to aid in providing nutritious meals to students who benefit from the National School Feeding Programme.
“We have to partner on this and make sure that the environment in which these children can enjoy these meals is such that they are not threatened in any way, by any element from within or outside of the school system. You can be assured of that,” the Minister said.