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Nov 26, 1999

Minister of Education says Excelsior not being singled out

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On Thursday Mario Rodriguez, Principal of Excelsior High School told News Five that he believes the Ministry of Education effectiveness study on the school was improperly conducted. Rodriguez said while he was told the evaluation would be carried out by a committee, education officer Vandley Jenkins was the only person who came to the school and did the interviews. He said misleading conclusions were drawn about teamwork among teachers, relationships between teacher and student, and academic performance. Today Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education responded by telling News Five that in his view the study was comprehensive. Hyde said he was not surprised by Rodriguez’s remarks, but that the Ministry is not singling out Excelsior, the Principal or any other member of staff. The Minister said the exercise is a part of their ongoing effort to improve Belize’s educational institutions.

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education

“As I said we are only trying to improve situations there. It is my job to ensure that our institutions, especially our institutions that have not been getting support over the years for them to move forward and that is what we are hell bent on doing.”

Q: “And there is no kind of secret agenda here to get rid of Rodriguez?”

Cordel Hyde

“Not on my part, dear. We are not targeting Excelsior. There are several of our schools that we think we can improve that we know we can improve on; this was only a start. We have been getting a lot of complaints and we know the problems, so it was just for us to try our best to evaluate the situation more scientifically and then make recommendations as to how we go forward.”

As a result of the study on Excelsior the Ministry intends to implement a Cabinet recommendation that the school be guided by a community based board.

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