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Nov 2, 2017

G.O.B. & B.N.T.U. Spar; Patrick Faber Accuses Elena Smith of Neglecting Teachers

For some time, the government has been locking horns with the Belize National Teachers Union.  The eleven-day strike last October took them to the brink and while tensions appeared to have eased, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber today launched an attack on the B.N.T.U.  Faber says the leadership of the union is neglecting its duty to teachers and what ought to be its priority. He says that the national president would ordinarily sit as a member of the Teaching Services Commission that addresses all things education, including the welfare of teachers. But that seat has been vacant because a parliamentarian cannot sit on the commission. Faber accuses Senator Elena Smith of delving on national politics instead of the development of teachers.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The union is supposed to be championing the cause of the teachers and they have gone silent on advancing the development of teachers in this country. They seem to be in the business now of trying to interfere in the wider national politics – which is not a crime if you are taking care of your constituents at home. But they seem to have neglected completely the number one job of the union which is to look out for the best interest of the professional services of the teachers. The Education and Training Act of 2012 says that a member of the national assembly cannot be a member of the Teaching Services Commission, which everybody now knows is the chief body that governs the services of teachers in this country. There cannot be another priority that is more important to the teachers’ union than ensuring that somebody is sitting on that entity; their president is the person that they’ve traditionally sent. But because their president is a senator, a member of the national assembly, that person cannot fill a seat on the TSC. And they prefer to hold on to the national spotlight as opposed to taking on their primary role of looking out for the services of teachers. So I would hope and I am checking the ground to see if it is the case and I am getting that strong vibe that the teachers are now seeing right through some in the B.N.T.U. who have that political agenda to put forward.”

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2 Responses for “G.O.B. & B.N.T.U. Spar; Patrick Faber Accuses Elena Smith of Neglecting Teachers”

  1. carlos says:

    Elena Smith is not the only official of BNTU. There are other official in the executive of BNTU that do the job she cannot do due to other very important commitments such as the work being investigated by the senate committee. This is not only important to the teachers but to the country.

  2. carlos says:

    When you Mr Faber were between us, teachers you didn’t think like so that the BNTU was political. But the thing is that there is so much corruption in your government that , it seems, that only the BNTU can be trusted to put things in their correct place. What happened to the audit of the ministry of education? This is what you should come out clear with the people.

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