Teachers from Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) were on Wednesday facilitated in a domestic violence seminar, aimed at equipping them with the skills to handle such cases throughout their profession.
The first ever workshop of its kind was organised by the Education Ministry and saw attendance from teachers and representatives from the Education Department and the Social Protection Ministry.
Regional Education Officer (REDO), Annesta Douglas explained that a child’s ability to function optimally in school is sometimes affected by domestic issues, which can be addressed by teachers.
“Our vision is to give the school age students of this region the best possible
education available and we understand there are several factors that can impede them receiving this quality education. One of those is that they can be affected by issues in the home and in the community,” the REDO pointed out.
She added that it was necessary to assist the students by providing support at the education level, where they have a medium to discuss issues affecting them. For the education sector plan for the years 2019 to 2023, there are a few aims which they hope to achieve.
“We find it important for us to be proactive and to start with both our teachers and we will also be dealing with our learners. Presently, the Ministry of Education is in the process of preparing its education sector plan for 2019-2023, and in doing so, we will be focusing on efficiencies, governance and contributing to lifelong learning.”
Representative from the Domestic Violence Unit of the Social Protection Ministry, Deidre Ifill also briefed teachers on how to deal with such cases as she expressed, “Domestic violence is a social issue that affects everybody. It has no face. It affects everybody.”
While mentioning that domestic violence cannot be eradicated, she posited that
efforts can result in its prevention.
Meanwhile, Regional Information Officer Ganesh Mahipaul stated that when acts of violence occur in the home, it travels with students to schools where they are distracted and cannot perform effectively.
“I believe we are at a point where there must be some level of focus on what is happening in our homes and that often times transcends to what happens in our school environment,” Mahipaul said.
Teachers were trained to ascertain whether children are faced with domestic violence or are living in an environment where violence is prevalent.