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Sep 27, 2018

Minister of Education Comes Down Hard on B.N.T.U.

Patrick Faber

The Minister of Education Patrick Faber, however, came down hard on the B.N.T.U. saying that they had been part of the process to finalise the list of hardship posts. Faber says that the B.N.T.U. has it wrong and it is the Ministry of Education that makes the final determination on policy matters.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The B.N.T.U. had to agree or approve the list. I remind folks again and so I am pleased the C.E.O. pointed out the role. It is the government, the Ministry of Education that ultimately should determine the policy advised by the stakeholders and we have been very, very good in terms of consulting. I think the process outlined by my colleagues at this head table showed you at great pains the opportunities that were given to all the stakeholders, but especially the B.N.T.U. to say we don’t agree with this, we don’t agree with that or these are my concerns. And as the C.E.O. describes it, the silence was deafening. When you cut to the chase and you get down to the nitty gritty, what you will find is that teachers are saying that even though the government is providing me a bus to bring me to town on payday, I still want time off because I mi di get time off all along and we deserve time off that’s why I want it. We have situations in a district in this country, Corozal—our district manager is here—where it is half day every Friday. I kid you not; in rural areas. And it is a problem that we’ve been trying to address. Every rural school in Corozal, they tell me except one, has every Friday afternoon off and even when it is not a payday. These kinds of things my friends have got to stop. There is a lot of time wasting and our children are not being served properly and we’ve got to do something about it. And there are a lot of things in the system that people are trying to hold on to. It is today the matter of time offs, half day/whole day or whether you are determined to be in a hardship area or not, but there are a lot of things. One of the things that the union tried to revive for instance—not only the B.N.T.U.—was vacation grant. And I’ll tell you a lot of things are antiquated in this system that people are trying to hold on to when it is causing a slow death of our system.”

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