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Oct 4, 2016

Faber Scorns Strike Success and Why Edward P. Yorke High School Kept Its Doors Open

Back to the strike…The B.N.T.U. claimed considerable success on Monday with their planned industrial action, so much so that they extended it into a second day, today. However, some schools defied the Union’s call for national solidarity on their eight-point agenda and kept classrooms open. On the north side, Nazarene and Edward P. Yorke High Schools enjoyed a full complement of classes, while Saint John’s College’s high school division was closed. No one at Nazarene or S.J.C. were available when we visited, but at E.P. Yorke, we spoke with principal Rodrick Cardinez off-camera. He explained that the school’s policy, which he personally implemented when he took office in 2001, was that unless the Ministry of Education decreed otherwise, in no circumstance would E.P. Yorke voluntarily close its doors. Today, only three teachers were missing. The school’s B.N.T.U. representative has reported back to the union on activities at the school. But students and their parents know that classes are always scheduled except for circumstances beyond their control. On south side, we are told that Anglican Cathedral College and Wesley College, a Methodist institution, were open. The Minister of Education was asked today about school closures. He says his reports do not coincide with the union’s.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“While I don’t wish to pick a fight, what you heard yesterday was the report, a very vague reporting coming from officials from the union, who you expect to say there was this kind of success. In fact, I believe that the number of teachers and the number of schools that remained opened particularly in the urban areas yesterday would prove the B.N.T.U.’s numbers to be false. If you go to Princess Margaret Drive right now you would see schools in full swing; the entire school population. I heard one media house described Belize City as a ghost town which is certainly not true. Again that is neither here nor there; the facts are what they are.”

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