Only 41 education welfare officers in 970 public schools

first_imgThere are exactly 41 Education Welfare Officers providing information, advice, guidance and support to the nearly 190,000 children in the 970 public schools across the country.Chief Welfare OfficerGillian VyphuisChief Schools’ Welfare Officer Gillian Vyphius in an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA) on Monday, said that the Welfare Department has been “juggling” to provide its services to students. Among their tasks were working with ‘at-risk’ students, families and community partners to address barriers to learning and strengthen the safety net for these students.Vyphius said to fill the gap, the department has to rely heavily on the “Liaison Welfare Officers… – teachers are identified from different schools to liaise with the Schools Welfare Department to deal with minor incidents that arise in the schools”.Vyphius explained that those teachers with a social work background were asked by the Ministry to function as Liaison Welfare Officers. The Ministry’s “Maintenance of Order and Discipline Manual” is used to train these teachers, and is also used as a guide in carrying out their liaison duties, including sanctioning students.The Department only seeks to step in with the support of the Education Welfare Officers for serious issues such as violent behaviour, including fighting with a weapon, the Chief Schools’ Welfare Officer explained.These teachers have been performing the duties of liaison officers without compensation from the Ministry. Vyphius said that the department planned to seek a stipend for the teachers.The Liaison Welfare Officer programme, however, is not active in all schools, just those in Regions Five, Six and Ten, Vyphius said.The introduction of more Schools’ Welfare Officers And counsellors is among issues that the Government had identified to address in the revamp of the education system.last_img read more