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Jul 13, 2009

Methodist Church believes in Teaching Commission

Story PictureThe Teachers Commission that the Ministry of Education is proposing to implement has been the subject of heated debate. Some stakeholders feel that the church’s power would be usurped by the ministry and herald the end of the church-state system. M.O.E. has staged a series of poorly attended public consultations throughout the country perhaps because of the poor timing. But heeding those complaints, this afternoon, the ministry met with individual stakeholders, the administrations and governing bodies of schools at a private meeting at the Belize City Centre. News Five’s Jose Sanchez spoke to Reverend Gough, president of the Methodist Church who says that the church is prepared to work along with the government.

Rev David Gough, President, Methodist Church Belize/Honduras
“The church should have that privilege as the managing authority to hire according to their preferences and their desire for the delivery of education in our schools. However, the church also has to act responsibly to ensure the people we put in our schools are qualified, trained and in instances where we make a call between hiring a member of the church and hiring somebody who is trained, I feel, as a Methodist, I would have no difficulty going with the person who is trained provided that person understands the aims and objectives and mission plan of the church.”

Jose Sanchez
“The minister of education would be the one to appoint the chairman of that commission, supposedly taking power. Is that chairman responsible for having one vote only or would that chairman have veto power over the entire commission itself? Do you know?”

Rev David Gough
“Well, the way we are envisioning the whole process, is that the chairman would have a vote as a member of the commission. To my knowledge, it is not being envisioned, at this time, as far as I know, that the chairman would have any kind of extraordinary powers. We are trying to ensure, as far as I know, that there is an odd number of members on the commission. So there wouldn’t be any sort of deadlock and the chairman getting thrust into a position where he or she has to exercise a casting vote as chairman. So we are not anticipating that, as far as I know.”

Jose Sanchez
“Do you consider the commission to be a done deal as long as you can iron out the details of the church’s concern?”

Rev David Gough
“I hope it is, I hope it is. I think it is a necessary thing. I don’t see why, as the church, we should feel threatened if we are serious about our mission to deliver the best possible quality education to our children. I think this commission, in its purest form, in its intent will help us to be very professional about what we do.”

More consultations are expected on the implementation of the Commission.

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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