Dr the Honourable Tim Gopeesingh and the executive team of the Ministry of Education met on Friday 7th June with security provider MTS on issues pertaining to school security and janitorial services.
MTS currently provides security for 313 primary schools, 81 secondary schools and 24 ECCE centres. In terms of janitorial services, MTS caters for 77 secondary schools and 16 primary schools.
The Ministry raised concerns over the presence and accountability of security guards in schools during the day, as well as at night. Currently there are two 12-hour systems but few checks and balances in place to monitor and ensure that personnel being paid for are indeed present. The Honourable Minister reiterated the need for accountability as he stressed the importance of security guards in schools and the need for constant vigilance.
MTS has agreed to support the Ministry by working with Safety and OSH Officers. Other initiatives discussed included lighting and fencing, as well as hand held and walk through scanners for high risk schools. Discussions were also held on perimeter security and the implementation of CCTV systems to be able to better monitor activities.
The Minister was high in praise for many officers who display a positive attitude and approach and would like to see increased training for officers. In this vein, he requested that security booths be upgraded in a bid to improve not only the aesthetics of schools but to boost the morale of security officers by upgrading their operational environment. MTS has also given the commitment to provide proper ID badges for all of their officers, to facilitate proper recognition.
Regarding Janitorial Services provided by MTS, the Ministry has requested that sanitisation works and clean-up programmes be expanded during the July/August vacation, so that schools can be prepared for the opening of the new school year in September.
Courtesy the Ministry of Education