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Sep 14, 2015

Protest Outside of Faith Nazarene Primary, 25% Student Attendance Recorded

After a week away from classes, only a small amount of the four hundred students returned to the classrooms at Faith Nazarene in San Ignacio this morning. Having reached an agreement late last week with School Management, the Ministry of Education and the Teaching Services Commission, all teachers were back inside the classrooms.  But outside, an impromptu protest was staged by angry parents who continue to demand the removal of the principal, Policarpia Pech. News Five’s Isani Cayetano was in San Ignacio and files a report.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Of the four hundred and two students presently enrolled at Faith Nazarene Primary School, only twenty-five percent showed up for classes today.  Teachers are once again inside their respective homerooms after a weeklong dispute with the principal.  Their presence at work however, doesn’t mean that the issue with the headmistress has been resolved.  In fact, while teachers have been ordered to return to their classrooms, parents have opted instead to take on the fight on their behalf.  A majority of them have chosen not to have their children attend classes today.

 

Lilly Tzul

Lilly Tzul, President, Faith Nazarene PTA

“This is not about the teachers anymore or the principal, this is about us having our rights as parents.  I represent the parents and I’m the voice of the parents.  The parents are asking for a change.  So we are here asking for that change.”

 

Their demand is the immediate removal of Policarpia Pech as principal.  Amid allegations of misappropriation, as well as other charges, she is being asked to step down as school administrator.  David Simpson is among a handful of picketers parading outside of the compound this morning.

 

David Simpson

David Simpson, Parent

“I have my kid in this institution.  Since she started, she started in Infant One and within three years of this attendance she has changed twelve teachers and that’s not something very responsible of any principal or institution for having that in three years a kid changes twelve teachers.  Many good teachers have been sent from this institution because of the same principal.  I’ve had many times where again she’s tried to double charge the application fee or the fee where you register your kid, my wife has had to come twice to face the same problem where she was being charged twice.  That means that if the principal is not even capable of keeping a record of who paid and who didn’t pay [then] that means that something must be wrong in the institution.”

 

His observation is an opinion that is shared by many parents gathered here.  Collectively, an impromptu meeting was held on Sunday to inform members of the local Parent Teachers Association of the action that is being staged.

 

Fernando Cruz

Fernando Cruz, Parent

“We had sort of a short meeting yesterday to make plans upon our next move to see what will be the future of Faith Nazarene, you know.  Last week, the general manager of the school met up with the lawyer of the principal and whatever agreement they came up with I don’t think it was an agreement that was very favorable to the teachers.”

 

That brief discussion prompted a last-minute decision to demonstrate in front of the building.  Deputy Officer Commanding San Ignacio Police, Inspector Reymundo Reyes:

 

Reymundo Reyes

Inspector Reymundo Reyes, Deputy O.C., San Ignacio Police

“Apparently the meeting that they had yesterday at the Falcon Field is a meeting that consisted of most of the parents that are here this morning.  Yesterday police were not involved in that meeting but because of the problem that we have been facing from last week, we are monitoring it daily and when we came this morning we noticed that there were about twenty parents with their signs and so forth.  I spoke to them and I informed them that what they were doing is illegal because by right they should have applied for a permit before doing any kind of demonstration in front of the school or anywhere, right.  So at this moment they have been given the proper advice.  I know that at least three of the parents have made their way already to the San Ignacio Police Station to have a word with the O.C. and see how and when they could apply for that permit.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I understand that along with several others, you guys had just applied for a permit to be out here demonstrating today and that permit was not granted.  Can you bring us up to par with what’s taking place with regards to future demonstrations?”

 

Lilly Tzul

“Yes, it’s not that it was not granted because, as you know, as citizens we have our rights.  What happened is that we need to have a permit from the law to get it done.  So we have applied for a permit which will be done on Wednesday.  Wednesday we are inviting parents, friends, close friends of parents to show up here and demonstrate.”

 

The purpose for that planned demonstration, according to Fernando Cruz, is independent of what has been going on between the management of the school and the Teaching Services Commission regarding Pech’s removal.

 

Isani Cayetano

“Do you understand the difficulties, if I may, as to why the principal has not been removed as yet?  I understand personally that certain allegations have been brought against Ms. Pech but they cannot be proven in terms of documented evidence of whatever allegations being brought against her tolerate it anymore.”

 

David Simpson

“I think it’s about time that the Minister of Education takes some time and come to San Ignacio and find out exactly what is the problem happening at this institution because it’s more than abusive.  They held a meeting last week, the parents were never invited and if they’re going to be sabotaging the teachers then our kids will definitely be sabotaged in the same manner.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Protest Outside of Faith Nazarene Primary, 25% Student Attendance Recorded”

  1. MNHG says:

    YOU PROTESTERS ARE RUNNING INTO A TRAP, THERE ARE LAWS AND THERE ARE FACTS THAT CANNOT GO AWAY TOO EASILY. YOU ARE SHOUTING ON THE MEDIA WHAT YOU CANNOT PROVE WITH FACTS !!!
    BEWARE, THE MEDIA WILL NOT SUPPORT YOUR COURT FINES !!!
    NOT EVEN YOUR SO-CALLED DEMOCRAY CAN DELETE WHAT YOU SHOUT ON THE MEDIA, YOU ARE BEING RECORDED !!!
    WITH HD CAMERAS !!!

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