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Aug 5, 2020

B.N.T.U. Preempts M.O.E.; Advises Teachers, Students Not to Attend Classes

Before the Minister of Education announced the delay of school reopening, the B.N.T.U. issued a press release to discourage teachers and students from returning to school on Monday. The B.N.T.U. also advised parents not to send their children to school. The union was motivated by the increase in the cases, as well as the fact that many schools are unprepared for the reopening. This afternoon we caught up with President of the B.N.T.U. Elena Smith in Belmopan where she spoke on the matter of teaching during the pandemic.


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

“Fifteen is what prompted us but not only that but the matter of the concerns from our teachers in the north as it relates to those cases and the matter that we are not sure how many other cases there could be and so that concern is out there and our teachers felt that this is no time for us to have our children in that kind of position and our teachers as well to have them go back to school.”



“Who pays the teachers if they remain out of school? How do they get pay? What sort of earnings do they make?”


Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith

“People feel that because children were not physically in a classroom that teachers were just out for five months doing nothing and that is the furthest thing from the truth.  Teachers were engaged and they were preparing work for the students, sending work home. You saw the Ministry had those sessions being broadcast live on TV and those were teachers involved in putting those things together. So, teachers were working. Up to June they were working and in July is their summer vacation and now it is August and now they are back at school. Throughout that period they were given their Easter break as per normal and now their summer break but teachers were not at home doing nothing and relaxing for five months and being paid.”

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