Schools need to be more aware of children’s rights – RCC Member

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Children in masks [File photo]

Rights of the Child Commission (RCC) member Rosemary Benjamin-Noble during the handing-over ceremony of the organisation’s annual reports on Wednesday, indicated that the Commission was in receipt of complaints in regards to the suspension and expulsion of children from school.

To this end, she signalled that this should not be occurring since the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child does not allow this.

“…you would also be aware that the Convention on the Rights of the Child is a part of our Constitution and, thus, is a part of our laws here in Guyana,” the Commissioner warned.

“Because we’ve found sometimes that in complaints that we’ve received, the principals, for instance, are not conscious of the rights of the child and, therefore, make decisions in relation to children,” she added.

It was highlighted that more engagements with the principals and the leadership within schools were needed in the disseminating of information in regards to the rights of children.

“…this should not be left only to us, because it’s part of our mandate, it is something that needs to be a part of the curriculum or part of the management training, perhaps, of the leadership of the school and of the teachers of the schools,” Benjamin-Noble stressed.

“And that is another recommendation we keep having – mechanisms where we can, far and wide, encourage and educate people in relation to the rights of the child. We have found also when in various communities, some of the schools need to also be more conscious.”

Additionally, it was revealed that there were a number of children who were in need of exposure to knowledge of their human rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
“We have – as indicated in our report – moved around quite a bit and held several types of engagements, including having youth camps and meeting with communities in relation to abuse and so on,” the Commissioner revealed.

“…and, therefore, we sought through that mechanism to have those children be given leadership training through those camps for them to take the information they have learnt to their communities and back to their schools.”

The youth camps, which are usually held every year, however, were unfortunately put on hold in the last two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child affirms that every child has a right to education. The purpose of education is to enable the child to develop to his or her fullest possible potential and to learn respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.