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Jul 11, 2019

M.O.E. Requires Teachers to Renew Their Teaching Licenses

There is a new pressing issue between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teachers Union that is bubbling beneath the surface while school is presently out.  It has to do with the renewal of teaching licenses and the accumulation of hours for continuing professional development.  CPD, as it is called, is a necessary requirement to be completed over a five-year period in order for teachers to maintain their licenses.  But in the absence of a mechanism that would record the various courses and workshops that teachers are attending, the ministry has opted to issue a memo introducing a new system.  On Wednesday, an application form was sent out to primary and high school teachers requesting a renewal of their teaching permits which is contingent upon their completion of the CPD.

 

Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We received a memo and a form from the ministry yesterday.  The memo is to inform teachers of the process of what would be happening in terms of full license and renewal, the term that they used, of the full license.  The application form is titled renewal of full license.  We are aware that there is maintenance of a full license, not a renewal as such and so when you get a full license that’s the highest that you can go.  There’s nothing more than a full license, so to keep or to maintain your full license teachers must then complete a hundred and twenty hours of CPD within a five-year period.  And so, at the end of that five-year period you would have had to have those CPD hours to maintain the license.  There’s no talk or indication in the rules of having to renew it.  It’s not in the rules, therefore there is no form, there is no process, no mechanism in place to determine how that would work out.  And so, at a meeting that we had with the ministry the matter came up and we expressed to them the fact that there is no process in place.  There is no  mechanism in place for this.  So what do the teachers expect, you know, what should we expect?  What will the process be and who is going to be in charge?  How will it work?  All of those questions were unanswered because the discussion has not yet been held.  So for us to now see that the memo was sent out and the application form was attached to that memo, it came to us by surprise because there was no finalizing of that process and how that process will work.  We want to make it very clear that we are fully aware that our teachers must do their CPD hours to maintain the license; we’re not running away from that.  So we want to make that very clear.  Our contention, however, is the manner in which these things are being done.”


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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