(CMR) Approximately 150 security officers, cleaners, and other personnel employed by companies contracted by the Department of Education Services (DES) to provide services in Government schools completed mandatory training in Child Protection Fundamentals recently.
A team led by DES' Child Protection/ Designated Safeguarding Liaison Officer, Mrs. Gina Argenzio-Gayle, facilitated the completion of the online training module in the John Gray High School computer labs.
Ms. Adassa Blair, an employee of Hurlston Janitorial, was one of the trainees. She shared, “I thank DES for giving me access to a computer to complete the module seeing that I don't usually have access to one. I also felt very comfortable and relaxed knowing that someone was there to provide me with clear instructions to getting onto the module and guiding me through the process.”
Ms. Blair and the other new trainees join more than 1,500 persons from educational institutions around the Cayman Islands that have completed the online module since its development in 2021.
Ministry of Education (MoE) Acting Chief Officer Ms. Lyneth Monteith remarked, “The health and safety of the children of the Cayman Islands is our [MoE's] greatest priority. As such, I laud the DES' efforts to facilitate this critical training session to ensure that children are protected from harm, abuse and exploitation. I also look forward to more persons receiving Child Protection training as we enter the new academic year.”
The MoE developed online and in-person, Cayman-specific Child Protection training modules in 2021. Both aim to ensure that all persons working and volunteering in educational institutions are aware of the three Rs of child protection. These include recognizing indicators of child abuse and neglect, responding appropriately to abused or neglected children, reporting or referring according to legal requirements, and following organizational policies and procedures.
Modules also discuss specific safeguarding considerations for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND).
The Ministry requires that all educational institutions have child protection policies that are in line with its three child protection policies: National Child Abuse Neglect Reporting Policy, 2016; The National Safe Environment Policy, 2016; and The National Staff Safeguarding Policy (Staff Code of Conduct), 2016.
“Leaders of educational institutions are responsible, by law, for ensuring that their staff and employees comply with this training requirement, and they have been provided with information on how to access the required training,” added Program Manager for At-Risk-Youth, Ms. Camila Ferreira.
To learn more or to access the National Child Abuse Neglect Reporting Policy, the National Safe Environment Policy, and the National Staff Safeguarding Policy, visit the Ministry of Education's website at www.gov.ky/education.