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Nov 6, 2012

Teachers and students protest Baptist High School in Belmopan

While Pastor Norman Willacy stepped down from the Belmopan Baptist High School after he admitted culpability, the school is still facing a myriad of problems. This morning, a protest was held by teachers and students who were calling for the firing of Willacey’s replacement. The Belize National Teachers Union as well as the Ministry of Education had to intervene. Duane Moody reports on today events in Belmopan.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The school that is normally populated with students was deserted today—classrooms vacant; teachers and administration missing. With students and teachers up in arms, the teachers effected a go-slow which was stepped up to a protest by teachers and students at the compound.

 

Lloyd Stanford, General Manager, Baptist School

“I was called in to the high school this morning that required a meeting with all parties; the ministry, the union and ourselves. We sat down together and we listened to the concerns of the staff who this morning voiced their opinion. Today was an unfortunate situation; I have asked the students to go home in light of the situation. No teaching would have happened today.  Wherever you have a change of leadership, you have this kind of adjustment that you have to go through and I believe that is what we are going through as a school. We changed from one principal to another and I think that reaction is before us. It is a matter that we are working through and trying to bring it to closure.”

 

According to the teachers, the industrial action against the school was due to several injustices and ill-treatment by the Belmopan Baptist High School administration. A litany of issues—eighteen to be exact—were ventilated. These include the termination of teachers’ services without due process; the hiring of unqualified teachers; teacher’s post being advertised for vacancy and zero-communication between the teachers and the principal.

 

Luke Palacio

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

“We were there dealing with a number of issues but basically what has stood out in this discussion is that the entire management do have a number of issues that need to be addressed including the manner in which they have appointed their board members; we find that to be very disturbing. There is the whole issue of communication—miscommunication, bad communication at the institution. Our teachers and members at this institution have become very frustrated. We were here earlier in the month of October trying to resolve some of these issues and we are like back to square one.”

 

Daniel Ortiz

“The teachers made a call for the removal of the acting principal. Is there any indication as to the direction that will take?

 

Luke Palacio

“In terms of the acting principal, she was accounting according to the teaching services commission for a period of three months; which means that from a period of September to November, she should have been acting as principal. The position has been advertized; again these were under some questionable circumstances. The teachers did indicate that they weren’t satisfied with the manner in which the advertisements were placed. Nonetheless the final decision whatever the board here decided in the selection of somebody to become the principal—be it the current principal or somebody else—that is subject to the approval of the teaching services commission. We are going to await the outcome of the commission. All indications are that only one person was interviewed. We at the Teaching Services Commission will need to look at that recommendation and then recommend to the board of management if approval should be granted.”

 

George Frazer, B.N.T.U.

“A big problem which came up, the changing and hiring of teachers—for example with science; you have chemistry and other subjects and you noh have the lab prepared. One of the big issues is there termination of the former science teachers and the union is demanding that he be reinstated by Monday.”

 

The teachers made their demands which included the removal of acting principal, Delvorine Hamilton. Hamilton was hired for three months as acting principal following the dismissal of Pastor Norman Willacey as principal of the school in August of this year. Also on the list of demands was the appointment of new board members.

 

George Frazer

George Frazer

“Obviously the composition of the board; the lack of consultation. The education rule tells you clearly how many people should be on the board and how they should be selected. A number of them; above five of them, the principal in consultation with the staff, but they said the principal and couple others just called this one and between them. That is not the way the rules should go. Obviously the board needs more experience—many of the rules are not being followed.”

 

After several hours in meeting, the various stakeholders exited with the conditions that the teachers will go back to normal classes on Wednesday; none of the teachers will be reprimanded for today’s actions and that the board will decide the date of a meeting with officials from the Ministry of Education and the Teachers’ Union for early next week. Duane Moody for News Five.

 

Following the meeting, Hamilton declined an interview to the media by fleeing through a backdoor.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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9 Responses for “Teachers and students protest Baptist High School in Belmopan”

  1. Rod says:

    Every part of this country is in decline with this pm and gov.

  2. Uncle Benji says:

    @Rod……… well spoken.

  3. Belizean says:

    Yeah @ ROD, The cows got out of the fence, cuz of what? Ohhhhh yeah, DEAN BARROW..Your car ran over you ROD, all by itself, and ohhh yeah, its DEAN BARROWS’ fault!! Its easy to put the blame somewhere, thats right…

  4. Storm says:

    What about the education of the students? That’s the only reason the school exists.

    From what the union itself said here, they closed the school only for their own issues and rules, and the students are getting deprived of education because of the union. Shame on the striking teachers!

    We need professionalism on the part of the management and the teachers, and at least on the part of the teachers, we are not getting it.

  5. Namewitheld says:

    Parents should admit because of their lack of interest in their kids early stage/age development their kids are not making the grade to go to a real high school, schools like Baptist High school should be turned into a vocational Technical school, the teachers and the students are dumb and need to learn a trade because academically they are not cutting it!!!!
    Parents put the necessary attention/interest in your children from an early age and they will excel, it not too late but only God can help you in your situation…Now because they get a strict acting principal the dumb @$$ students and teachers are protesting. Parents intervene and stop your wayward children. They are mad because this principal is stopping the sexing between teachers and students and is demanding that the teachers stop missing classes as they once were doing under Sex MASTER himself Norman Willacy they teachers and students miss sexing in exchange for grades, where are the investigative reporters?

  6. Dorian says:

    Do you have a child who is attending that school, Namewitheld? You mentioned that both the students and teachers at that school are dumb….Your comments are definitely not that of an educated person…Seeing that you are so “dumb,” maybe you have “dumb” kids going to school there!….If you don’t have kids as yet, please don’t have any…it would be a shame if they came out like you! They may end up at Baptist!

  7. Namewitheldissuchagenius!!! says:

    Namewitheld, since you are such a genius maybe you can apply for a vacancy there, immediately after you improve your grammar…You are such a genius!….Read your last sentences….Wait! Those aren’t sentences….learn to punctuate! Rather than ranting on the intelligence of others, go read a book! It will do you a world of good…Please, stick to talking rather than writing because yo no di mek sense!!!

  8. @@@@Namewitheld says:

    Namewitheld, go read a book! Improve your grammar before trying to verbally attack others! If anyone looks “dumb” here, it is you! I’m recommending Junior English Revised to you!

  9. withheld says:

    Ladies and Gentlemen:
    The word of God says, we must humble ourselves and pray. The Devil is like a roaring lion ready to devour, steal , kill and destroy.

    Its a sad day in the church in Belize today. But Fear not ! God is in control. What happens in the dark must be revealed in the light. If unrighteousness is happening in a school, church, God will bring it to light so that we can examinine ourselves as a people. God wants us to be holy and pure. To seek righteousness. It is true, that when someone comes in the picture who will be strict with rules and policies, nobody will like that person. Examine yourselves Belize.
    It is time for us to humble ourselves and pray. Ask God for forgiveness.

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