Teachers should be at centre of school safety policies

Dear Editor,

Why is the Ministry of Education advertising for a consultant to help draft school safety policies? The best educational systems in the world, Finland’s in particular, became that way because they place teachers central to designing all aspects of the education system.

      The fact is that no supposed expert knows more about the classroom dynamics and the school environment than the people who are on the frontline day in and day out. Naturally therefore it makes sense that in wanting to come up with a safety framework, the Ministry of Education should reach out to teachers in focus groups across the nation. The suggestions and ideas would address every conceivable aspect of safety and provide a pool of relevant, applicable and pragmatic ideas from which final safety measures can be drafted.

      Furthermore this exercise would be cost saving and would enable teachers to take ownership for safety implementation, monitoring, continual evaluation and necessary changes that may be unique to individual schools.

The bottom line is that no ‘expert’ will be more knowledgeable about the issues that need to be addressed and more familiar with the student population that the measures will target, than the teachers themselves.

      Yours faithfully,

      Annan Boodram  

 

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