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Independence City Primary begs ministry for second guidance counsellor

Ann Geddes-Nelson, Principal of Independence City Primary School
By Kimone Witter
 
Educators and the Parent Teachers Association at the Independence City Primary School in Portmore, St. Catherine have delivered a letter to the Ministry of Education requesting that the vacancy for a guidance counsellor at the institution be filled.
 
The letter was delivered to the Ministry of Education's Heroes Circle offices on Friday.
 
The issue arose after the Ministry of Education reportedly removed one of two guidance counsellor posts at the school.
 
School administrators have argued that two guidance counsellors are needed due to several challenges, including indiscipline among students.
 
Principal of Independence City Primary School, Ann Geddes-Nelson, said the school has received no feedback from the Education Ministry to the concern. 
 
"We have been having challenges, many challenges. And at this time, it seems as if they are getting worse. The teachers are frustrated because the challenges are [mounting]. We have our parents come in [needing] assistance and it has to be the teachers plus the guidance counsellor. When our parents are given the opportunity to see the guidance counsellor, they are upset and the one guidance counsellor cannot accommodate all the issues that we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis," she complained.
 
The school reportedly has had two guidance counsellors since 2001, however, a correspondence from the Ministry of Education explaining the cut said the ministry cannot afford a second counsellor.  
 
The ministry has said there should be one guidance counsellor for every 500 students.
 
The school has more than 1,100 students.
 
Teachers and parents had staged a protest on May 1 over the need for a second guidance counsellor at the school. 
 


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