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Jan 14, 2011

Teaching Services Commission takes off

A year after it was passed into law, the teaching services commission is taking off. The twelve member group was sworn in today by the Minister of Education. Among its first tasks, it will bring an end to corporal punishment and to raise the bar for teachers. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The swearing in of a twelve-member panel comprising the Teaching Services Commission took place inside the conference room at the ITVET compound this morning before an audience of educators and ministry officials.  The exercise comes almost a year after the Education Bill was enacted despite a request for its delay by the Belize National Teachers Union.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“In February 2010 we passed the Education and Training Act providing for the establishment of the Teaching Services Commission.  Since then much work has gone in to revising sections of the existing education rules relevant to the establishment of the Belize Teaching Service Commission so as to be in alignment with the new Education and Training Act 2010.  Shortly, we expect to sign a statutory instrument that will align such relevant sections of the education rules so as to operationalize and facilitate the work of the Teaching Service Commission.”

patrick faber

And among the tasks of that new authority is bringing an end to corporal punishment.  Notwithstanding the reluctance of B.N.T.U. to terminate corporal punishment from classrooms the Ministry of Education forged ahead with its objective to improve the overall quality of education.  The constitution of the panel, says Faber, will aid in raising the bar for teachers at all levels.  Up until a year ago sixty percent of all primary school teachers were not adequately trained, a problem which reflected the poor hiring practices of school management.

Patrick Faber

“With the broad based composition of the Teaching Services Commission to administer the regulations pertaining to the teaching services efficiency, transparency and increase trust and confidence in the management of the system would be derived to the benefit of all concerned.  Certainly the establishment of the Teaching Services Commission seeks to safeguard the interest of all stakeholders by raising the status of teachers and simultaneously increasing public confidence in the teaching services of this country.”

Also taking place this morning was the signing of two memoranda of understanding for the merger of Hope Creek Methodist and Government schools to be managed by the Methodist Mission.  St. Agnes Anglican School in Mahogany Heights also unites with La Democracia Government School to fall under Anglican management. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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