For this paper, focused was made to the children and youth as the vulnerable population. Over the past few years, it has been noticed that the youth are influenced by social media, the internet and the television and are airing their issues over the internet in the form of videos. The Ministry of Education noting this problem has implemented various strategies to address the problems highlighted. These policies are yet to be strictly enforced in our schools. What was noted is the lack of social workers in schools. Hence it has been proposed that these policies be revised to create a more permanent fixture of employment of trained social workers to enable the youths of Guyana to voice their concerns and express their feelings and frustrations. My proposal will focus on areas such as lobbying the Government of Guyana to fund this added component to the Ministry of Education and also to re-look at the legislative changes that can accompany the said change. Further to develop training programs and bring awareness to the general public on the need for and importance of social workers in the school system.
My interest is working with children, so the vulnerable populations I want to focus my attention on are children, especially in the schools. As mentioned in my country assessment presentation, there are three areas I believe can be targeted beginning with the youths of Guyana. First, there is a lack of counseling in schools; this can be beneficial to the youths of the country because they need to have an outlet to help manage the issues they face on a daily basis. Secondly, the role of social media in schools, such as cell phones and other gadgets has become a major issue in the school system. These gadgets aid in some of the issues youths are facing today, such as bullying. And thirdly, Guyana is not maintaining its rich heritage and culture and its environment. Guyana is becoming more westernized, and this is a contributor to the issues faced by the youths of the country.
Lately there has been an outburst of videos popping up all over the internet and social media websites. These videos are the focus of school age boys and girls engaging in fights, violent fights during school hours and after school hours while clad in their school uniforms. This has prompted me to believe that there needs to be a system in place for students to be able to have an outlet when they are dealing with certain issues. Violence does not have to be their only means of dealing with stress. These videos have served as a stimulant for my interest in focusing with the youths of Guyana, especially in the school. Also, another reason I choose to focus on this bracket of population is because here in the US there are school social workers available in all schools. I see the difference it makes having a counselor present in a crisis, intervening on behalf of the student to help make their education a success. So I believe that my skills acquired here can contribute and make a huge difference in Guyana.
Statement of the Problem
After I conducted my country assessment, I researched the student population of Guyana and there is widespread concern for the general well being of the school age youths and violence in schools in Guyana. There is a tremendous need of intervention in the school system of Guyana to help resolve the various issues facing the youths of Guyana. Issues ranging from gender and sexuality, bullying, violence, abuse, neglect to name a few. There is a need for more widespread awareness and education. While there are various agencies available to the public that provides counseling, awareness and education on different topics, there aren’t any implemented inside the schools itself. There is a need for social workers to be assigned to the schools in Guyana. The citizens are voicing their concern over the recent surge in violence in schools and student’s aggression