Kingston, Jamaica: The Ministry of Education and Youth (MoEY) has made arrangements through the Ministry of Health and Wellness to transfer the 14-year-old student at the B.B. Coke High School in St. Elizabeth to the University Hospital of the West Indies. The student was brutally attacked by another student on Thursday afternoon and left with serious facial and head injuries. He will receive additional medical attention.

Both the Ministers of Education and Youth and Health and Wellness, Fayval Williams and Dr. Christopher Tufton respectively, have been in communication with the mother of the injured student and continue to monitor and chart his progress. The Ministers expressed regrets that the incident occurred and are committed to providing needed support for full recovery including psychosocial care.

In condemning the attack, Minister Williams said: “This kind of vicious and violent behaviour is unacceptable in any circumstance and especially in our schools. Our students in particular, and our people as a whole, must learn how to deal with conflicts with restraint and without resorting to violence.”

It is reported that the student was attacked after he accidentally stepped on another student’s shoes in an effort to break a fall, whereupon he was punched in both eyes and then stomped on repeatedly in the head. The Ministry of Education and Youth will be providing appropriate intervention to the other student, still a child, who remains in remand and will require support.

Just last week the Ministry of Education and Youth, through its Safety and Security in Schools Unit in association with Nestle Jamaica Limited, conducted a series of Conflict Management workshops for student leaders of eight high schools engaged in the Inter-Ministerial School Support Strategy.

Also, the MoEY is continuing its collaboration with the Ministry of Justice to expand the scope and reach of the Restorative Practices Programme in educational institutions across the island in response to cases of violence in schools and as part of the broader mandate for behaviour change management.

For the fourth phase of the programme which started on September 26, 2023, and will conclude on December 6 this year, 6,390 educators, students and parents from 153 targeted primary and high schools will be engaged in a two-day, school-based training workshop. Approximately 8,700 educators, students and parents were trained in the previous three phases, impacting 288 schools. The intervention involves a focus on a transformation of philosophy and culture for entire school populations. The focus continues with the implementation of the Heath and Family Life (HFLE) curriculum that includes conflict resolution and interpersonal relationships skills. This is taught in all primary and secondary schools Islandwide.