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Nov 23, 2000

BNTU clears up misunderstanding

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Some two hundred and fifty primary school teachers countrywide were informed on November tenth, via a Ministry of Education memo, that they had to make up for time lost during hurricane Keith. What the Belize National Teacher’s Union did not say earlier, was that there were several options available other than extending the school year. John Pinelo, BNTU’s President, says the misunderstanding has now been resolved.

John Pinelo, President, BNTU

?When the memo came out, some people only looked at those two suggestions, but didn?t look at the sentence before, which explained that it was flexible and that they could have taken it during the regular school year. And as you explained, yes, some of them are doing an extra half hour; they start a little earlier; finishing off a little later. Of course taking into consideration that the days are short and night comes a little earlier, teachers have to make sure the children are let out in time so that they can get home.?

?The option still remain, that if they chose, which of course the union is against, doing anything during the Christmas and Easter holidays because we have other things to do. The consensus has been that the time made up can be done during the regular school year. We have some schools that have something in place, and we also have to consider the other parties involved, for example the parents and students. Then we have to look at transport, because some schools have transport to pick them up, so arrangements have to be made so that the transport pick them up at the different times, that has been changed.?

Pinelo says that the union is depending on the schools to choose the option they can best work with so as to complete their syllabus.

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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