Truancy Team to increase visibility and surveillance

PHILIPSBURG–The Inspectorate of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports Affairs (ECYS) truancy team will increase its visibility in the area of truancy surveillance for students who have an unexcused absence from school.

The Inspectorate currently has an on-going public awareness campaign under the banner, “Are your kids in school today?”

In order to uphold the Compulsory Education Law which states that all children between the ages of 4 and 18 must be enrolled in and attending school, the truancy team will continue to visit the various schools creating awareness about the compulsory education law.

Information sessions at various primary and secondary schools took place during August and October.

The Truancy Team has also made several strategic developments such as: increasing its manpower from two to four Truancy Officers, purchasing of a Truancy van to be used during school hours and/or throughout the day.

The van will be used to patrol in various neighbourhoods. Students who are on the road without permission from their school will be escorted back to school.

Home visits will also be conducted. The increased activities will be carried out in order to curb the growing issues with regard to students skipping school or classes, and possibly decrease the drop-out rates.

Lacking an education, youngsters are more likely to end up unemployed and at risk of becoming involved in crime, both as victims and as offenders, ECYS offered.

“Truant behaviour has fiscal and economic impacts on a society such as the costs of incarceration and loss of economic productivity and tax revenues. The Truancy Team at the Inspectorate ECYS has as its main goal to firstly prevent truancy, and for those found heading in the wrong direction to re-direct them!

“The community plays a very important role where it comes to helping to enforce Compulsory Education. If members of the community are aware of youngsters unlawfully staying home; or loitering, they should contact the Inspectorate of ECYS Truancy Team immediately.”

Truancy Officers are Orva Medina, Nathaly Pieters, and Richinel Brug. The Truancy Team can be reached at 542-3479 or 542-3182. Truancy reports can also be emailed to truancyoffice [AT] sintmaartengov [DOT] org.

Source: The Daily Herald Truancy Team to increase visibility and surveillance