Restorative Practices – “Alternative solutions and practices to deal with what might sometimes be considered the intractable challenges or issues of discipline in our schools”
The Canadian government-funded Improved Access to Justice in the Caribbean (Impact Justice) project has been praised by Barbados’ Education Minister, Ronald Jones in his Opening Remarks at the start of two two-day workshops on Restorative Practices. The workshops, held on May 19 – 20, and 21 – 22, 2015 at the Solutions Centre of University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill Campus, were attended by forty-seven principals and deputy principals of secondary schools (18 females and 29 males).
Jones commended the Government of Canada for funding the five-year regional justice sector reform initiative being implemented from within the Caribbean Law Institute Centre of the Faculty of Law. He also expressed his gratitude for the workshop to train principals “in alternative solutions and practices to deal with what might sometimes be considered the intractable challenges or issues of discipline in our schools”.
He urged educators to make the best of the training, stating: “[Restorative practices] is a part of the cycle of life that brings an important intervention into disciplinary issues in our schools and by extension into the community.”
Newly-appointed Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau, noted that the Campus was ready, willing and able to work with secondary school educators on various services and skills required for a solid secondary education platform. She urged participants to view the training as relevant, noting that the use of Restorative Practices had been shown to reduce misbehaviour, bullying, violence and crime among students and improve the overall climate of learning.
The sessions were conducted by Mr. Bruce Schenk, Director of the International Institute of Restorative Practices Canada. By the end of the sessions participants reported that they were eager to apply the skills learned within their schools.