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Oct 19, 2016

It’s Back to School After Eleven Days Off for Students

While the Ministry of Education and Belize National Teachers’ Union have not made up yet, the teachers were back in school in full force today. A check of schools across the Old Capital found students in their many uniforms returned to classes under the watchful eyes of their teachers. So even as the Union keeps a wary eye on the situation, the nation allowed itself a sigh of relief. News Five’s Duane Moody has the view from the ground on this first day of classes in over a week.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today is the first day that teachers and students are back in the classrooms in full following an eleven-day strike by members of the Belize National Teachers Union. The B.N.T.U. took industrial action with a call for good governance and a three-percent salary adjustment that was deferred by government.  Across the city, students and parents were happy that classes have resumed.

 

Lionel Mena

Lionel Mena, Parent

“This is very good. I think it was necessary for him to be back in school because this guy is very smart and he is asking when school will be open and he wants to go back to school again.”

 

Duane Moody

“Are you concerned about how they are going to make up back for classes?”

 

Lionel Mena

“Yah, that’s my biggest concern; how they are going to make it up and how the children will suffer after Christmas holiday, they will have to work hard and put the effort.”

 

Luke Palacio

So what are schools doing to make up for the loss of classes? According to the B.N.T.U. leadership, school management and their staff have agreed to chart a way forward to deal with the days of absence.

 

Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.

“In the discussions we had with some of the managers—because we had a meeting with some of the church leaders who actually run the schools—they have agreed or they were in agreement that yes the time needs to be made up but they will have to agree on how. So they along with those respective staff will have to decide and agree on how that time will be made up because they really want it to be made up in a meaningful way so there would have been no haphazard way in making up the time. So that would have been the management and the teachers under their management agreeing on how that would have been done.”

 

So will the government participate in the process?

 

Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

“Well we will have to meet with our partners and we haven’t made a decision as to how we will make up that time. So that is still a question that we haven’t really looked at yet.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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