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Apr 28, 1998

Catholic educators meet to examine new Government rules

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The introduction of a new draft set of regulations for primary schools has sent the nation’s teachers back to their books to take a close look at how the rules proposed by government will affect them. Today the nation’s largest provider of education, the Catholic Church, got its educators together for a review.

The meeting was the first for the newly formed Roman Catholic Diocesan Bishop of Belize Task Force. The group was organized by Bishop Osmond P. Martin, to represent the Catholic Church on the newly proposed primary education rules. The Task Force, which is made up of both teachers and principals of primary and secondary Catholic schools from throughout the country, reviewed the Ministry’s proposal and made suggestions that they say are in the best interest of their schools. Father Leo Weber, S.J. is the chairman of the Task Force.

Father Leo Weber, S.J., Chairperson, Task Force

“First of all the churches are partners with the Government in the delivery of education and we want to be sure that the interests of the partners, not only of the Catholic Church, but the other managements, that the interests of the partners with Government are being adequately represented and adequately provided for. So it is, it’s a discussion of rules and where does the managements of denominational schools, particularly the partners, where do they fit in with what the rules is saying that Ministry does this and Ministry does that. Is the voice in the partner of education adequately represented?”

According to Clement Wade, the Secretary of the Task Force, there was a lot of background preparation for the meeting, which was used to put together a working document. Wade says although there are some concerns about the proposed primary education rules, there is an even more important reason as to why the Roman Catholic Dioceses has been working overtime.

Clement Wade, Secretary, Task Force

“It’s not so much about concern as us wanting to give the Roman Catholic Dioceses input, because these rules are just drafts and drafts are exactly what they are. They are working documents and the Roman Catholic Church representing about 70 percent of the education being given in Belize, are just meeting and putting together suggestions and not only suggestions, we are also saying those points that we think are exceptional also.”

It is expected that by the end of the day, the Task Force should have completed its work. The paper, which will include the group’s criticisms and suggestions, will then be presented to the Ministry of Education with the hope that it will be included in the Ministry’s final draft on the proposed new primary education rules.

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