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The Canadian Government funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (IMPACT Justice) Project, this week sponsored a 3 day training of trainers workshop to certify 6 persons as Restorative Practices Trainers. The workshop was held in the First Caribbean Suite B, the Solutions Center, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus from Monday, November 20th to Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017.

The workshop, which is the first part of the certification process, was facilitated by the International Institute of Restorative Practices, Canada and attended by Dr. Patricia Saul, Deputy Principal of the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College; Ms. Patricia Warner, Senior Education Officer, Ministry of Education; Mr. Ken Layne, Deputy Principal, Daryll Jordan Secondary School and Ms. Julia Edey, Guidance Counsellor, Parkinson Memorial Secondary School. The workshop was also attended by Dr. Andrew Hicks, Criminologist, University of Guyana and Ms. Gloria Lewis, Lecturer, T.A. Marryshow Community College, Grenada.

After the first phase of the training, those trained have been urged to utilize every opportunity to hone their skills with colleagues and pupils, until early next year when they will have their first official training exercise under the supervision of an experienced Restorative Practices trainer.

Restorative Practices has been recognised throughout many developed countries as an excellent tool to help address many of the conflicts which arise within schools, whether they occur between students, students and teachers and amongst teachers themselves. When effectively used, restorative practices can lead to more peaceful environments in schools, fewer disruptions and fewer instances of bullying and other harmful behaviours.

Thus far, approximately 475 educators and education officers across the region have received training in the Restorative Practices Framework and the Effective Use of Circles through IMPACT Justice sponsored workshops. It is therefore envisioned that with the new cohort of trainers now being trained this number will continue to grow as more and more persons will have opportunities to train and further promote the use of restorative practices in schools throughout the region.

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