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Nov 13, 2000

Teachers asked to work extra week

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A memo issued by the Ministry of Education, intending to extend the school year into the Christmas holiday, is receiving failing grades from teachers. The extension is to make up for time lost when classes were suspended for a week after a number of schools sustained damage in Hurricane Keith. The Ministry of Education recently informed government-aided primary and secondary schools of its preference to end the school year on the twenty-second of December, one week later than scheduled. Today News Five spoke to the President of The Belize National Teachers Union.

Jose Sanchez

What is the Teachers Union’s position regarding the government’s request to extend the school year?

John Pinelo, President, BNTU

“Well, actually we don’t have a real position yet because what has happened is that we would go along with what the majority wants. In our case, we go along with the mandate of our people. We are aware of at least two things right now, for example they cannot be forced. Teachers cannot be forced to really do this extra work that the chief is asking by law. But at the same time we need to be reasonable and we need to work together.”

Pinelo said that he is confident that the government and the teachers union will reach an amicable solution. In the mean time, teachers and students are standing by.

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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