Mediation Matters – Does your school need Peer Mediation?
How does the Community Mediation Services Division assess the readiness of schools to implement the Peer Mediation Programme?
Members of Staff of the Community Mediation Service Division (CMSD) conduct a situational analysis of the school to better understand the ways in which conflict is managed at the school and in the community. They also look at whether the school will have the administrative and human resources to support the programme. The aim is to determine the extent to which the programme must be tailored to suit the school’s environment and context.
What are the components of the Institutional Readiness Assessment (IRA)?
The IRA has 4 components which can be done over 1 week. The school is asked to facilitate this exercise before moving forward with sensitization and training.
A principal’s interview
A teachers’ survey
Student Focus groups
What is the importance of the IRA?
The IRA is crucial to determining the Mediation needs of the school. Based on the information gathered during the IRA, the CMSD tailors its approach to conflict management training for the school. However Peer Mediation is not the answer to all problems. There are some types of disciplinary and institutional problems at schools that this programme is not designed to address. In the event that the IRA reveals that the school is in need of another type of intervention, the CMSD can provide a number of other workshops and services to staff, students, parents and community.
What happens after the IRA is completed?
At the end of every academic year the CMSD meets with school stakeholders to evaluate the impact the programme has had on the school. Recommendations made at this time become the basis for improving the programme in the next academic year.
How can schools access the Peer Mediation Programme?
To participate in Community Mediation Service Division’s Peer Mediation Programme, all schools are asked to submit an application form to the closest Divisional Mediation Centre. The Peer Mediation Programme runs throughout the academic year and every year schools are invited to determine whether they want to continue the programme. Schools are asked to invest time and effort into learning about the philosophy of and the technical skills required to implement the programme.