The Ministry of Education, Heritage and the Arts fully appreciates the positive potential of social media in enabling productive engagement between teachers, students and parents in our nation’s schools.
The success of the online budget consultations and His Excellency the President’s #OurConstitution Challenge showcased the power of social media networks in allowing for an unprecedented level of student participation in important national events.
We remain committed to leveraging the accessibility of social media in ways that further the education of our children, maintain communication channels with parents and protect the best interests of our teachers and safety of our students.
Those benefits are why we welcome feedback when instituting new changes in this rapidly-evolving media landscape.
Our social media policy is not intended to inhibit our teachers’ freedom of association; rather, it is wholly intended to protect students and teachers from online abuse such as bullying, and in the case of students, from possible pedophiles who are able to hide their real identities.
That said, we recognise that, with appropriate checks in place, teachers can maximise online platforms to establish professional relationships and direct lines of communication with parents and other teachers.
We will be reviewing the policy to reflect this with a new code of conduct, while also calling on the Online Safety Commission to better educate our employees and students on best practices to protect their privacy on social media.