Reform curriculum curb school violence

A Parliamentary committee studying the problem of school violence, on Wednesday, called for major changes in the country’s educational policy by the beginning of the next academic year, September 2017. Chairman of the committee, Economics lecturer at the University of the West Indies (The UWI) and Independent Senator, Dr. Dhanayshar Mahabir, said one of those changes should be reforms in the curriculum of the nation’s schools which would recognise “multiple intelligences.”

Delivering recommendations to deal with school violence contained in the First Report of the Joint Select Committee on Social Services and Public Administration, which was laid in the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Mahabir said many of the psychologists, social workers and guidance officers who testified before the committee agreed that one of the causes of the violence in the schools is that many students cannot cope with the mainstream academic curriculum “and the skills of the children transcend the normal narrowly defined academic skills of reading, writing, mathematics and language skills.” According to Mahabir, “There are skills in creativity; there are skills in drama; there are skills in art; there are skills in woodworking; there are skills in building; there are skills in sporting activities; there are skills in other areas – singing and cooking. We need to identify that there are students in the school system who are not able to exploit their innate talents – the talents in the designing of garments, for example, it is not something we emphasise in the school system and, by excluding a large amount of students from the areas in which they have innate ability,we are creating a situation where frustration among the student bodies in their inability to handle the mainstream curriculum can result in a level of frustration which can be manifested in the type of deviant activity that we are seeing.”