The Ministry of Education has issued a memo to all Secondary Schools in Georgetown banning Christmas parties, a headteacher has confirmed to the News Room.
In the memo from the Principal Education Officer (ag) titled ‘Christmas Luncheon’ it was stated that “Christmas parties in many schools have moved away from the spirit of the season to one of inappropriate behaviours and activities by students.”
The Ministry said further concerns were shared about the dress code, kinds of music played and a large number of uninvited persons attending the parties.
As such, the Ministry has taken a decision for the schools to host Christmas Luncheons based on ten strict guidelines.
According to the guidelines, all students are to be dressed in their uniform; the luncheon should be conducted per class in respective classrooms and organised by class teachers who will be with their students.
The Ministry instructed that Christmas Carols can be played within the classroom and should be properly monitored while no student should be seen loitering in school during the activity.
A dismissal time was set for no later than 14:30hrs and the Ministry is urging students to desist from loitering on the roadways, parks or malls.
Class teachers are required to check their students bags to ensure there are no weapons, alcohol or illegal drugs and no strangers or visitors should be allowed to visit the activities.
According to the memo, security guards and teachers must check all students entering to ensure that they are current students of the school.
Additionally, the schools are permitted to have a well-organised Christmas Concert showcasing the religious aspect of Christmas.
This new measure was criticized by former Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand who noted that it is a clear indication that the Ministry is incapable of managing the secondary school students.
Meanwhile, some teachers are calling for this measure to be implemented countrywide and not just in Georgetown.
One teacher has told the News Room that it has become difficult to deal with teens who are sneaking alcohol and drugs into the school on a regular basis.