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Aug 13, 2020

Minister of Education Reacts to P.U.P.’s Education Policy

On Wednesday, the People’s United Party launched its Plan Belize policy on education via a virtual press conference.  The conference was led by Party Leader John Briceño and former Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca.  Today, Minister of Education Patrick Faber was highly critical of the P.U.P.’s education policy, saying it is empty promises and poorly planned strategies.  At the press conference, Fonseca said that while we have five thousand seven hundred teachers, there are almost one thousand two hundred non-teachers employed at the M.O.E.  He said that this means that seventeen percent of the education workforce is not educators.  Fonseca called for less bureaucracy, saying that it is the P.U.P.’s goal is to reduce the non-educator workforce to ten percent of the total education workforce, which will yield annual savings of twenty million dollars. Here is how Faber responded to that goal.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“If we are to take his number as accurate, twelve hundred employees who are non-educators, meaning they are not teachers, but they work for the Ministry of Education, we ought to be able to look and to see who those employees are. What he is not telling you is that the three hundred and fifty so school wardens, for instances are non-educators hired in the Ministry of Education. So is it the school wardens that you are going to fire and get rid of in order to put more into education? Is it the truancy officers, who are not educators? Is it the school bursars from all across the country that the government pays or that are on the payroll? Or is it the school watchmen and the relief watchmen that work at government schools and government buildings, because the ministry has education centres in all of the districts and the ITVETs and so on? Is it the secretaries of these schools? Is it the clerks from the various departments of the ministry? These are the people who make up the non-educator staff of the Ministry of Education. So I would really want for him to be more specific. But I think the overarching principle here that he is saying is that people will lose their jobs and there will be some kind of retrenchment for these workers that I have just mentioned. So all those persons who fall under the categories that I just mentioned need to be very, very concerned.”

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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