“CHANGE FROM WITHIN” – INTERVENTION PROGRAMME
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Library Services through its Department of Education collaborated with the Clement Howell High School to organize a social intervention programme, Change From Within, to address the increased sporadic disruptions the school has been experiencing since the start of the school year. These disruptions included feuds among a group of twenty-one (21) boys engaging constantly in altercations and fights which have affected the smooth flow in the day to day operation at the school.
The feuds were somewhat territorial with boys from one set of communities against another. This social intervention effort is the first programme emanating from the recently approved Alternative Education Policy. It sought to develop an alternative education classroom for behaviour improvement in students exhibiting deviant behaviour patterns which are not in accordance with expected standards and outcomes and regulations of the school.
This behaviour improvement classroom is developed in a reduced stimulus environment with a structured learning programme seeking to have students carry out introspection and understanding the reasoning behind their actions and taking responsibility for changing their social direction.
Change from Within: The Overview
The programme is designed for four weeks which started on Monday, February 5 2018 and finishes on Thursday, March 2 2018. It focusses on allowing the boys to come to an understanding of their behaviour and finding positive avenues to channel them. It is believed that the behaviour demonstrated by these boys are directed related to community influences which impact their social interactions with their peers within the school. The students will carry out self-assessments and try to understand how their decisions and actions impact themselves and others. During the course of the programme Parents/Guardians will also participate in sessions on Parenting and Parenting Skills as well as understanding their child/ward.
In order for this robust programme to effect the intended results for both students and Parents, the following Departments and persons have been coopted by the Department of Education to participate with the school: Educational Psychologist; Truancy Officer; Department of Youth; Department of Library Services; Department of Mental Health; Department of Social Development; Turks and Caicos Constabulary Force
Over the four weeks the following critical areas will be addressed in the programme: Understanding Self-Without Peer Pressure; Conflict Resolution; Interpersonal Relationships; Critical Thinking; Consequential Thinking; Anger Management; Use of Drugs (Marijuana) and its Effect on Mental Processing and Social Behaviour; Parenting and Understanding your Child; Safeguarding the Child – Role and Expectation of the Parent.
During the programme, the following activities have also been infused daily; Individual Counselling and Group Sessions; Reflective Journaling; Testimonials or Inspirational Talks and Field Trips. These activities complement the structured sessions.
Completion of Programme
At the end of the four weeks, each boy would understand how his behaviour affects others and the consequences to certain behavioural outcomes. He will have acquired the required skills necessary to take responsibility for his own learning outcomes and develop skills to resolve issues without engaging in physical confrontations and fights. Additionally, he will learn how to become a positive change agent in school and his community and finally understand the law and penalties attached to certain actions.
Each student will also compile a checklist with role and life changes to be adhered to at school or home after the programme. He will also undergo a case conference to assess what he has garnered from the programme, giving feedback on the sessions and how it has impacted him as well as speak about his daily reflections in the journals. Finally, he will list the role and life changes that he will now use to influence his decisions and actions.
The panel of Counsellors will recommend re-integration into the school environment and if there will be need for internal follow up sessions with the Guidance Counsellors at the school or external sessions with the Department of Mental Health.
Week One (February 5 – 9)
Week One started off very well. The sessions were very productive. It started with testing and evaluation of the students to assess their social, emotional, psychological, academic levels and career interests aligned with their personality. Among the sessions during this week were sessions on Who am I; Understanding Adolescence; Peer Influence; My Beliefs; Developing Self Worth; My Crowd; My Character Counts and Personal Grooming.
Among the Facilitators were Mr. Devon Cox, Mr. Jarrett Forbes, Fr Alvardo Adderley of St Monica’s Anglican Church and Pastor Bradley Handfield. The first session was also held with the Parents where there were discussions on Parenting and Understanding your Responsibility as a Parent.
There were a number of courtesy visits that were made during the week. Among them were the Acting Minister of Education, Youth and Library Services, Hon Goldray Ewing; the Permanent Secretary Mr. Wesley Clerveaux and Director of Education, Mr. Edgar Howell.