In the wake of violence in schools especially among young boys, Prime Minister Perry Christie noted that an academy for those with behavioral challenges is in the making as he wants better for the youth of the nation.
His remarks came as he delivered the keynote address at an Honor’s Assembly held at Donald Davis Junior High School (D.W. Davis) yesterday.
“Last year, I asked the Minister of Education to help me understand what is going on with the youth in our schools.
“I do not want to participate in an educational system where children are shuffled aside and we cannot account for what happens to them,” Mr. Christie said.
He noted that in speaking with Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald, he took his team and came up with a plan and a possible solution to assist the youth.
“He took his people away and he came back and said, ‘prime minister, we are going to accommodate your wish, it is our recommendation, subject to you finding the money to build a new academy called Star Academy where we are going to take students who have to leave school for whatever reasons to do with behavior and we are going to put them into Star Academy,’” Mr. Christie said.
Mr. Christie told the students that if they do experience challenges, although he hopes they would not fall prey to violence or violent behavior, that they too would be taken to the school for reform.
“You will be taken out of this school or any other school and you will be placed in the Star Academy and the resources of the country will be made available to determine what your problem is.
“I am telling you this because I do not want you to go to Star Academy. I want you to demonstrate that you do not have to do this,” Mr. Christie said.
Mr. Christie further went on to inform the students of the help they will receive if they ever found themselves having to attend the academy, from psychiatric and psychological examinations to simply guidance or if the challenge is difficulties at home.
He noted that the function of the school would be to diagnose, find, fix and deal with the challenges of a behaviorally challenged student within the environment of the academy.
The academy, which is in the process of construction on the Seventh Day Adventist premises on Wulff Road, will attempt to rehabilitate students before they reenter the regular school system.