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Sep 3, 2019

Gov’t Schools’ Management weighs in on Graham Creek hardship!

As the local manager for government schools in Stann Creek and Toledo, Garbutt knows a lot about the hardships faced in the rural communities. We asked him about his experience and how that helps to champion the teachers’ call for re-categorization of the hardship allowances. In the case of Graham Creek, where the hardship may be one of the toughest yet for teachers in Belize, is there a need for an increase? Garbutt, a long time educator, who has worked in rural communities, says he would recommend incentives for teachers who face extreme hardships but he wants to see the benefits be awarded in more ways than just cash.


Walter Garbutt, Local Manager, Government Schools ( Stann Creek & Toldeo)

Walter Garbutt

“I am very pleased that as local manager over the last three years I have been able to make two visits and I wanted to bring some other people here to face the challenges and to see what these teachers go through on a weekly basis; and the beauty of the place that pays for all those hard walks like we had this morning, falling and everything else.”


Andrea Polanco

“If you should hear the teachers of Graham Creek say we want to see our hardship allowance increase, do you think that based on your experience it is something you would put forth to your Ministry and say let’s listen to it because I have experienced this and most of you haven’t?”


Walter Garbutt

“I would listen but I am not totally sure that money satisfies. I would want to offer them opportunities and certain benefits; like if you come and serve here maybe you get a partial scholarship or scholarship to study after a number of years. Because if they increase that money it will only go anyway; it will buy more beer; more soft drink; so I would want to build opportunities that once you serve in these rural areas for x number of years. Already some benefits are built in. If you work here you get the equivalent to a full increment after three years; six years you get. I will want to build more benefits for them to guarantee if they go into these areas they get a lot or twenty-five acres of land. So, something that is an incentive and that is greater than that hundred or two hundred dollars that will just vanish anyway. These areas are worth it. Here, Punta Negra, Mabil Ha, Na Lum Kah and some of the remote schools in the catholic management that I don’t know. Those schools do deserve a greater amount of benefits but I would want to build it in some reward system other than just money. That will be my recommendation.”

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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