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Jul 23, 2020

Will Teachers be Terminated at Overstaffed Anglican Schools?

Today, the Ministry of Education has reacted to a report on the alleged termination of teachers at Anglican schools. The release is in respect of reports made to the Belize National Teachers Union by several of its members that schools were overstaffed and that there is risk of redundancy. According to the ministry, the Belize Teaching Service Commission is “responsible for enforcing all regulations governing the conditions of service of teachers with respect to employment, appointment, transfer, discipline, and termination at government and government-aided schools.” So any termination must be approved by the Commission. But Senator Elena Smith of the B.N.T.U. says that despite recognising the role of the Commission, there is a draft policy on redundancy that the ministry had issued and so the concerns of the teachers, attached to Anglican-managed schools, had to be dealt with.


Elena Smith

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

“I spoke to the general manager which was yesterday or day before and she explained that she had a meeting with the staff and she was explaining to them the matter of the schools being overstaffed. So teachers began to question the matter; what will be happening to them if it is that they are overstaffed. Is it that they are going to be retrenched? What is going to happen to them? So out of concern those teachers reached out to the union and we are aware that there is a draft policy on redundancy that the ministry has sent out to us, but has not been finalised yet. We are also aware that some time ago, presentations were made from two schools with a request for redundancy. So it is not that that word isn’t out there; the word is out there so the teachers are concerned. And we are fully aware as well and I don’t want anyone to think that we don’t know how the process works—that it is the teaching services commission who has the final say in determining whether teachers are terminated or not—but the concern is there because of the matter of overstaffing and also because of the fact that as schools or as managements submit requests for replacement of teachers who will go on leave, they are being told that replacements would not be honoured. So the teachers were being informed that they would be having large classes because of those other teachers not being replaced. So it was entire discussions and so it might have been—I don’t know—the manner in which it was brought across to them that raised the concern. But we had to deal with the matter.”

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