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Jul 8, 2021

Teacher Loan Forbearance Not Being Honored

Elena Smith

President of the Belize National Teachers Union has sought assurance from the Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance, Christopher Coye, that financial institutions will continue to offer forbearance on loans to teachers and public servants. This became necessary after several teachers were reportedly told by their financial institutions that they were not aware of any such agreement. During a meeting, following Wednesday’s Senate meeting, Minister Coye informed President Smith that a letter had already been sent by Central Bank, and that these financial institutions should have been notified. Here is what President Smith told us about and the additional agreements made with G.O.B. considering the ten percent salary cut.


Elena Smith, National President, BNTU

“Our teachers have been complaining that they are going to their banks and their banks are telling them that they are not offering them what it is that they should be offering. So, I was discussing that with the Minister. Because, we were being told and are still being told that the letter was sent from Central Bank, and so that the forbearance period should continue up until December. And so, any teacher who goes to their financial institution should be able to get that assistance from their banks. And, some of them are saying when they go to their banks, their banks are saying they know nothing of it. So, I was having that discussion with the Minister. In terms of the data packages for our teachers, that was another offer that was made. We just got a letter from the Ministry yesterday that we should send a list of the names of our teachers and their contact information to them. Then, that goes to BTL I believe, and BTL will be doing their part in terms of ensuring that will happen. So, we are a bit late with that part. We did not get to benefit from that the last semester of school. So hopefully, that can be done for the new school year. There is an hour per day, our teachers they have not gotten that part as yet. You know that public officers were given their hour. It was easier to work it out for public officers than teachers, because there is a lot of issues with teachers. And so, we have met with the Ministry and we have some options to choose from. We have sent that out to our teachers via survey, to see which option they will select from the three. Then that will be sent to the Ministry and that will start for the new school year.”

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