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Nov 25, 2009

Education Commission going full steam ahead

25936Both the Corozal and Orange Walk teachers unions have publicly come out against the proposed amendments to the Education Act, primarily because of the terms of the Teaching Services Commission. The Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, has said he is moving ahead and the amendment will be tabled in the House on December eleventh. Since the proposal was introduced, the Belize National Teachers Union and the Ministry of Education have been conducting countrywide consultations on the commission, but the union remains divided on the issue. Earlier today, Faber said that with or without the support from up north, at the national level, the B.N.T.U. says it will work with the ministry.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I’m not sure we want to call them consultations, its more clarifications and explanations as to what was presented to the Cabinet. I have gone on the record to say that we have frozen the documents so that we are not going to make any changes from that point that we took it to the Cabinet up until the point that it is taken to the House Committee on Education. In that time we asked that the documents be circulated. We certainly placed it on our website and we wanted people to read it and give us feedback, but also we wanted to get the chance to go to the teachers through the union to explain and clarify things that they may not be understanding. And if any entity, the union or the managements for instance, if they have further concerns, things that they would want to change, then as I’ve always said, there is the process and it continues. They can make representation to the House Committee when they convene after it is introduced to the House on December eleventh. I have been brought to the understanding that they are not supporting the commission at all, not certain elements. That is the Orange Walk branch and I believe the rural Corozal branch. And I will only say that it is very unfortunate that those branches have decided not even to hear the clarifications and explanations as it would relate to questions that they might have simply because most of what they have put out is misinformation. While that is unfortunate, there is still many branches of the union and the larger public out there, certainly the management of the schools now, including the Catholic Church that are moving towards supporting the document and we hope that by December eleventh we can move forward in unison even if that means with a certain fragment of the B.N.T.U. not moving.”

News Five also spoke with President of B.N.T.U., Jaime Panti, who says that the union will conduct a press conference later this week to state its position on the commission.

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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