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Aug 20, 2018

Street Law, a New Course to be Introduced in 6 Schools

Six high schools are preparing to participate in a programme known as street law as a new course to their curriculum. The addition is expected to start in January 2019 which means that those teachers who will be facilitating are receiving training on the local laws as well as the rights of individuals. The week-long workshop is being conducted by Street Law Caribbean Limited, which has tremendous experience and success in the programme. In this step, the participants will be taught techniques to develop the curriculum. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Legal literacy…ensuring that you understand basic law in everything that you do—whether it is purchasing an item at the shop, entering into a contract as an entrepreneur or setting up a business, knowing your human rights, labour laws and the like. This is the basis for a curriculum that will be piloted in six high schools across the country, in January of 2019. But to get to that point, today, a ‘train the trainers’ component was held at the conference room of the Cayo Centre for Employment Training. Various stakeholders including social workers, teachers and public officers are learning the techniques of teaching ‘street law’ to their peers and in the classrooms.

 

Jeniene Neal

Jeniene Neal, Principal, St. Ignatius High School

“It’s a programme that we want to have in our high schools. At this time, we are having the trainers training part of the initiative. CET is a partner school with Saint Ignatius High School in terms of the TVET. Indeed we have six of our high schools that are involved so representation from all six high schools is here.”

 

Three trainers from the Caribbean are facilitating the five-day intense workshop; they, along with the participants, will assist to develop the ‘street law’ curriculum and the modules that will provide a more interactive approach to teaching and learning in the secondary education system.

 

Jeniene Neal

“It is to prepare them for everyday life; basic legal literacy. Most of our times, we would be challenged as young adults, as at risk students—especially those who go at our six high schools and indeed we have our adult learners too. We have an adult programme at the Saint Ignatius High School and at Independence High School. So at this time, we want our students to not only have the academic aspect: Math, English and we could list out the others. But we want a programme that will empower the young people of this country.”

 

Christopher Malcolm

Dr. Christopher Malcolm, Executive Director, Street Law Caribbean Limited

“What we are effectively doing is preparing teachers by reference to a particular methodology and by exposure to particular areas of the law so that over the course of the week, we can help them to start the development process of specific modules that will be developed over the course of the next couple of months so that by January, they can effectively be in the classrooms to start working with the students.  And we don’t like the idea of thinking that they are going in as teachers, even though they are. We want them to be seen as facilitators because the idea is that they are going there to assist the students to themselves be participating in and be interacting with them in a way where they can learn and become involved in the law as a development process.”

 

Executive Director of Street Law Caribbean Limited, Doctor Christopher Malcolm is lead facilitator of the introductory programme in Belize. He says that it is more an interactive, deep-learning and critical thinking approach to know their rights and the laws of the country.

 

Dr. Christopher Malcolm

“What we have happening very often is that we have developed—not just here in the Caribbean, elsewhere as well—we have developed this very rigid, rotish way of teaching, where children go in and they ‘swat something,’ as we call it in Jamaica. And you learn from paper and you think about remembering everything on it and you go in and write and after you finish the exam, you forget everything about it. That is not what we are interested in. We are interesting in saying to persons, look; the law is something which you cannot avoid and we want you to learn enough about the law so that you can understand when your rights are being abrogated; you can understand how to rely upon the law to further your business affairs; you can rely when it is to think more about the law and ask questions about it.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

 

The schools involved in the pilot initiative are Saint Ignatius and Mopan Technical High Schools from the west, Gwen Lizarraga and Pallotti High Schools from Belize Ctiy and Delille Academy and Independence High School in the south.

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