GIS a safe haven, says acting head

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Barry Alleyne

GIS a safe haven, says acting head
Acting principal of the Government Industrial School Ronald Brathwaite (FILE)

The girls’ section of the Government Industrial School (GIS) is a safe place for the country’s children who are having problems in society, says acting principal Ronald Brathwaite.

He made the assertion yesterday while answering questions from the media during a nationally televised press conference in which Minister of Home Affairs Wilfred Abrahams revealed a new board had been established.

“The Government Industrial School is a safe place for all children that come to it,” Brathwaite said. “There are numerous boys and girls who would have come through the school and their circumstances would have been enhanced from being at the school.”

The GIS for girls was established in 1912, and Brathwaite said the facility provides care in many aspects, such as CXC exams for those who have the mental capacity to do them.

“There are some within our fold who already have CXC subjects and we also offer vocational trades and other support services.

“You have to recognise that the children who come to the Government Industrial School are all different,” he added.

Brathwaite revealed that almost 60 per cent of the girls who are sent to the school were battling mental health challenges.

“So we have to rely on the Psychiatric Hospital through the child guidance clinic and occupational therapy and on a weekly basis the children are assisted. We also have a psychiatrist to help the children and social workers. Our staff is geared to deal with all the problems that confront us at the school.”

He said the school’s intake programme was a detailed one and geared to help the children during their tenure there.

Brathwaite said recidivism at the GIS was very low and a follow-up programme was in place to track the girls after their release, with social workers facilitating for a two-year period. (BA)