Educators benefit from restorative practices training
DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, April 11, 2018
Several educators from across Guyana will better be equipped to handle school discord following a training workshop on restorative practices.
The two-day training, which is a collaborative effort between and the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the International Institute for Restorative Practices and funded by the Government of Canada, began today at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown. It targets Educators in Regions Three and Four but will be extended in the future.
Regional Director of the Impact Justice Project, Velma Newton explained that the ultimate objective of the project is to assist regional governments in identifying legislation for which model laws will be drafted.
“The process is that Impact Justice would draft the model laws, then they will be sent to CARICOM Secretariat where they would be examined by the Legal Affairs Committee which comprises of Attorney Generals and the once the laws are declared CARICOM model laws they would be sent to the various governments to be implemented, Newton explained.”
The Project Director further explained that the main components of the project are legal databases including Public Legal Education and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). For this training session, ADR was chosen as one of the mechanisms to assist persons in resolving disputes; Impact Justice focuses on two categories of ADR.
“Under ADR we have concentrated on community mediation because it is our view that many issues that are taken to the court for resolution could be resolved at the community level if there are trained mediators who can assist the parties. We also concentrated on restorative practices because we would like you, the educators to introduce this concept into your daily dealings with children and your colleagues and into the curriculum of teacher training colleges,” Newton underlined.
Since the project’s launch in April 2014, over 700 persons were trained at the basic level in nine countries. At the advanced level, Restorative Justice Conferencing, over 150 persons were trained.
Acting Deputy Chief Education Officer of the Ministry of Education, Ingrid Trotman noted for some time, school discipline has been an area of concern; hence the critical need for the training.
Trotman explained that “as educators, we have been faced with numerous incidents where our students, parents, teachers and community members have been in conflict, contention or situations that created distance between the persons involved and have warranted intervention… there is the need for relational-based effective approach which is respectful and creative.”
The Acting DECO pointed out that strategies to support students have been implemented and utilised in schools but the challenges still exist, therefore the workshop is greatly welcomed.
She encouraged the educators to effectively harness the knowledge gained as it will yield success.
By: Ranetta La Fleur