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Nov 23, 2020

Teachers to Report to Work Only on Mondays

For the remainder of the first semester, primary and high school teachers across the country are being asked to report to work on Mondays only.  It follows a decision made earlier today by Minister of Education Francis Fonseca and Minister of State Doctor Louis Zabaneh.  Teachers will now show up for work at the start of the week to assist with learning packages on the following days: November thirtieth, December seventh and fourteenth.  Schools will close for Christmas break on December eighteenth and reopen on January eleventh but there is still no word when students will be allowed to return to their classrooms.  This afternoon, News Five spoke by phone with President Elena Smith of the Belize National Teachers Union.


On the Phone: Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“We’ve not had an opportunity to meet with the new government as yet, as we are aware that they are still putting together their people and trying to get them in place so we’ve not had that opportunity as yet.  What we know is that a memo was sent out by Dr. Babb indicating that teachers should continue working from home  for this week and that they should return to the classroom on Monday, the thirtieth.  Whether that will remain as is, we don’t know yet.  We’ll see how the week turns out.”


Isani Cayetano

“I know that several concerns had been raised over the past few weeks with respect to teachers who may be exposed to the coronavirus either at school or on their way to the workplace.  Where do we stand with that now, in light of the fact that there is the current flooding that allows you to stay at home until November thirtieth, but going forward you’d still have those concerns?”


Elena Smith

“Correct.  So those concerns still remain in place and we all know that cases continue to rise and we all know that some areas are having more than others, so that concern still remains and we are hoping that when we get a chance to meet with the Prime Minister and with the Ministry of Education that we can bring that matter to the table, along with other outstanding matters that we have and hopefully they will consider the reasoning behind such a request having been made by B.N.T.U. and that they will look at that request favorably.”

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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