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Jamaica: affiliate insists school security should be priority

EI affiliate the Jamaica Teachers Association (JTA) has taken issue with Education Minister Maxine Henry-Wilson's statement on the matter of security at public schools.

Henry-Wilson said the government could not address the issue at this time since there aren't enough funds to finance the implementation of the security systems that are needed. However, the JTA said it will continue to insist upon improvements including the erecting of perimeter fences, hiring of trained security guards in all schools and improved linkages between police and schools. The JTA is also calling for an expansion of the safe school’s programme - a project that aims to tackle four common problems at schools - use of narcotics, possession of offensive weapons by students, truancy, and intrusion onto the school campuses by outsiders. It says the most recent display of weapons taken from students who attend schools in Clarendon, where a total of 34 offensive weapons, including 17 knives were confiscated, emphasises the need for immediate improvements in security in schools.