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Feb 25, 2010

High school teacher reacts to minister’s comments

Darnelle Sterling Roches

Darnelle Sterling Roches

“Ignorant”: that’s the word that the Minister of Education used to describe some of the teachers who protested the amendment to the Education and Training Bill. When quizzed Patrick Faber offered no apologies and maintained that some of them simply don’t know any better. We asked assistant secretary to the Belize National Teachers Union, Darnelle Sterling Roches, who is also a high school teacher, for a reaction to the minister’s statement. And while she doesn’t agree with him, she told us that she chooses not to retaliate and start a war of words.

Darnelle Sterling Roches, Asst. Secretary, B.N.T.U.

“A lot of what the minister has said—propriety of diction here right—I prefer not to focus on because I think it will end up being a war of words kind of thing. I don’t believe that I am ignorant to the rules. I’ve read it, he made reference to the fact that he has not left us open and without anything to go to and that is true. Our focus—I prefer to focus on what our issue is and I think because of the fact that we have all these words being thrown around that is what has taken away from what the real issue should be. And so I personally almost want to apologize for the minister because I really don’t think that should have been the route that he should have taken because parents, students; everybody listens to these things and the last thing you want is for your parents and students to think that we basically have given you a group of buffoons to teach you. Where is the respect in that? I’m not worried about the minister’s respect, I’m worried about the respect of the parents and the students because…”

William Neal

“So it’s the ripple effect that you’re worried about.”

Darnelle Sterling Roches

“Yes because when they come into the classroom, they bring that with them even if they don’t say it but we know that the perception is there. But I don’t want to go through this.”

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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15 Responses for “High school teacher reacts to minister’s comments”

  1. Bruce says:

    I have never rated Patrick Faber as the Minister of Education. First of all I think his inexperience in holding the portfolio of Minister of Education will jeopardize real development in education in Belize. He does not have tact to deal with people at a professional level. Could you recall that Patrick FAber made a statement that he approved of firing certain school wardens and as far as he is concern, he does not care. He also made a statement in the house that his people (UDP) have suffered and that it is his time to make PUP’s sufffer. Is Patrick Faber the best thing Belize has to offer as Minister of Education? He always feels that having a Masters in Education gives him the ultimate right to be the Minister of Education. He is very reactive to deal with problems. Just imagine if he was more transparent in dealing with the teacher’s concern, the dialogue between himself and the teachers would have been more productive. He is too ambitious which is dangerous to meaningful dialogue in a democracy. Just imagine that Patrick does not support the project that SCA is initiating to build a 2storey structure. He just likes to “mouth off”. He ought to take a course in communication and dialogue and stop acting like a dictator.

  2. Alvira Clark says:

    Every Adult that has attended school and/or college can easily tell the world what teachers they learn from and whom ended up to be non-teachers. The teachers that did not teach, they simply assigned home work, sat back and expected the child to educate themselves. The teacher that could never foucus on their given subjects long enough to reasonably teach. Some, but very few, teachers are very capable of expanding the minds of children. Some teachers end up in schools without any kind of teaching degrees. The really sad part is when a very young student ends up with several non-qulaified teachers while in lower schools. The child can never recover from a disaster in their lives when that occours. The parent has struggled to send their child to school to learn later in life that their child is not educated, even though the parent tried to better their childs life. The School system becomes a sad sorry mess when teachers and principals are not required to prove their qualifications.

  3. fugi says:

    I truly applaude Mrs roches for not getting into a war of words with F…….(faber). I on the other hand will. I really disturbed me to hear him say that the teachers in belize are ignorant, I grew up and attended school in the jewel, this liad the foundation for my college years in the US when i started here my level of intelligenge far supercede those of my classmate. THANKS to the TEACHERS of BELIZE!!. now back to what he said, as we take a look at this if he call these teacher ignorant, then let us question his education? did not some of these same teacher impart lessons to him, did he not learn in belize, so if the teacher are indeed ingnorant as he states, then where oh where does that leave him? because it has been shown in many situations that the follower reflect those that lead, and if he leran from the ignorant then we can all figure out the rest. also after reading his comment i came to this conclusion when he tried to explain away his mistake and try to clarify his words he showed himself to be the biggest buffon of all does he not realize that the first word that escape your mouth is exactly what you ment to say , so he need to make sure that his brain is in gear before engaging his mouth, and finall I would like to congratulate those teacher that tayght F…….. . you have accomplished a feat that most of the other part of the world is still trying to do, you all have achieve the task of educating the worlds first and only ( ……….!!)

  4. dawg says:

    Patrick use to be my teacher at ACC…b-4 every class he would tell us to “get our paper” don,t worry about how the job is done, it seem like He’s the ignorant one, he need to realize that this is more than politics, after all i don,t blame Him. The longer the guys stays a politician, the more paper he’s going to get, who knows, he probably have an offshore bank account already, ” dah jus palytics pple” “get unu paypa”

  5. CEO says:

    Our little country is a mess not because the country is a mess but because of poor leadership. Faber is already saying he is dreaming of one day being the Prime Minister, he should try to execute this post well enough because thinking higher thoughts. Maybe his parents were abusive and hence his reason to be so charged about the matter.

    Hey! Why don’t we take away the billy clubs and the weapons the cops carry? Bad idea right? What we do is we allow them to carry but we make sure that if they fire their weapons or rough up a citizen unnecessarily that they are punished and removed from the ranks.

    Perhaps this idea can be appplied to teachers make sure that when it is done that it was really needed and at least one other teacher was in the room during the punishment.

  6. Souljah says:

    The UDP administration made the saddest mistake when they placed Faber as the Minister of Education. I cannot believe some of the things that come out of his mouth. He has poor choice of words for a man with a master’s degree and I am sure the teachers of Belize taught him better than that. A man who is sure of what he is doing would not be on the defensive all the time, instead he would be looking at the true issues at hand and be thorough while coming with practicable solutions.
    I can recall Faber going to schools saying that he will seize the issuing of study leave to teachers because he needs the experienced (not qualified) but experienced teachers in the classrooms. I thought that was absurd because if you invest in qualifying your teachers now, then you will have more productive teachers in the future. As teachers are completing their studies, others should be given the opportunity to enter their career studies full-time. However, he is not doing his part and yet has the audacity to tell the very same teachers he is depriving that they are unskilled for the profession.
    Most teachers believe in education and professional-development once given the opportunity but the Ministry of Education needs to carefully plan the content of these pedagogical courses offered during the summer, instead of those bogus and repetitive workshops. If Faber claimed that the teachers are “ignorant,” then that is a reflection of the kind of work he is doing…..He is the true sense of the word “IGNORANT.”

  7. Mel says:

    I have not met or know Faber in person to judge him per say but from the speeches he has given over the past year , I have come to believe he is an incompetent ‘minister’ and is haphazardly making changes to the system without proper analysis of the consequences of his actions. As such what he is doing is not helping but making the education system worse. He wants to remove corporal punishment from schools, which is fine. But not once in any of his speeches have I heard him say or present what alternative measures he plans to put in place to replace corporal punishment. Teachers cannot be placed in a position where they would not be able to have some sort of discipline especially in this day and age where children are very unruly and have no respect for authority. The teachers need to have some sort of power available to them.
    Then their is the issues of forcing teachers to go to school and get qualified but he is not providing financial assistance. Sure don’t provide the financial assistance but raise the teachers pay so they can go to school as well as feed their families. Teachers do not get paid enough for what they do. Many times teachers have to supplement the teaching supplies from their own pocket and transport as well as improve other aspects of school life for children. There are some really dedicated teachers out there and then there are some who are not but the good should not pay for the bad.

  8. Angel says:

    Honestly Minister Faber knows one shit he is talking about. I have been teaching in the classroom for 10 yrs now and don’t see how the hell we will discipline students. I have a class of 34 students with have of them being hyper and very disrespectful. I am having difficulties managing this particular class because as most people say we are left with the big task of discipling these children when in fact this should be done at home.
    And coming to educating teachers, Patrick knows one thing about it. Tell me why would you want teachers that are currently doing their bachelors degree change to certificate program that they are currently carrying out. Isn’t that crazy. I was refused my study leave which was to finish my last year of bachelors degree in primary ed, and was told to instead do the certificate program. Honestly I though that was bullsh….t.

  9. Angel says:

    Honestly Minister Faber knows one shit about what he is talking about. I have been teaching in the classroom for 10 yrs now and I don’t see how the hell we will have control of students once corporal punishment and with no alternative plan in place. Although we don’t use corporal punishment as often as in the older days, for teachers it is a tool to have students under control I have a class of 34 students with half of them being hyper and very disrespectful. Honestly it is a difficult task trying to manage this particular class because as most people say we are left with the big task of disciplining children when in fact this should be done at home.
    And coming to educating teachers, Patrick Faber doesn’t know how to begin educating teachers. Tell me why would you want teachers that are currently doing their bachelors degree in Primary Education change to a certificate program. Isn’t that crazy. I was refused my study leave which was to finish my last year of bachelors degree in primary ed, and was told to instead do the certificate program. I thought that it was a crazy thing to do. What he should do is to assist those who are currently enrolled in education programs and then continue with the rest who do not have a degree in education.

  10. Michelle says:

    I do not appreciate Mr Faber’s remarks about teachers being ignorant. Teachers are aware of the alternative measures they can take. However, these things are easier said that done. The home has a set of standards and the school has another. Sad to say some homes don’t have any standards. Teachers are not saying that they want to beat students. They are saying that without that pending doom it would be extremely difficult to manage a generation who lives by the rod.What the minister ought to be addressing is the need to equip schools with trained counselors so that students can begin to understand their anger and ways to deal with it. Teachers try to do both but the very nature of counseling conflicts with the role of the teacher. Mr Faber should know that the best way to make a change is to change the way one thinks. Students need to see that they can take charge of their lives and that they can manage their behavior once they understand why they do the things the do.

    The real issue is that students are acting out to satisfy some unmet need. For many a negative attention is better than none. Many parents are too busy making money. Parent, no one can replace you in your child’s life, take time out for them. Parents, your children are not your punching bags. Stop abusing them and expect the teacher to fix the damage you have caused.

    On the other hand, we must not forget the wisdom of our Lord and Savior. “Trained up the child in the way of the Lord” and “Do not spare the rod and spoil the child” To disregard the Lords advice is to say that are no longer a nation under God. Are we seeing a fulfillment of the scriptures when the world will be control by Satan’s government? Be careful, the deceiver makes everything appear to be innocent and good but,that is a part of his scheme to win the world. This is a part of the war between light and darkness, God and Satan. Keep you eyes open Belizeans. Look around you and analyze what is happening in counties that have disregarded the word of God.

  11. The Educated One says:

    Wow! Mr. Faber, has been a friend of mine for some years now and I know him to be a very smart individual. HOWEVER, no one should be subject to his deragotory remarks. If the teachers are ignorant to the facts, then educate them. That’s neither here nor there. While the country talks about his comments, the issues are still present. It does not change what the teachers must put up with everyday. There is NO overnight fix to this issue. Unfortunately, it stems from the home. The lack of discipline in the home. The lack of fathers in the home. The lack of a true relationship with God in the home. Perfecting the monitoring of abuse of the system by teachers is what needs to be done. Along with providing other support for the teachers, for example, counsellors, like Michelle stated above.

    Give the teachers some support since they are not getting it from the homes of the children. It takes a village to raise a child. A part of that village are the teachers. That’s how our country has been built. Maybe parents need to start signing contracts when their kids enter an institution so that they understand that if their child mis-behaves, the school will have a right to take certain measures. Those contracts would have to be standard, of course. All we want as a people is for our kids to be educated by capable teachers. And, we want our teachers to be equipped with the necessary support system to make the education effective.

    Some kids won’t make it, but we want that percentage to be minimal. Then you need a catch for those students. I think the focus is in the wrong place. People don’t mind change if it’s practical and well planned out, covering all basis. Bring something solid, Patrick, or bring nothing at all. Real change takes time. Incremental improvement until the entire system is where it needs to be. I loved my education in Belize. My teachers were great! The ones that were known to use the rod, were those that had the most influence. Support the teachers, Patrick, don’t just stir the pot!

  12. Belize next minister of Education says:

    Mr. Faber needs to remember that each time he looks into the mirror he see a perfect reflection of what ignorant is. If you examine the teaching profession in Belize its sad to say that our teachers are under paid and with the little they make, they still need to buy materials to teach. Many of these teachers have over 35 students, what is the ignorant is the fact that Mr. Faber sits his ass in an air condition office waiting to see where he can obtain another international loan to full his pocket

  13. Ignorant - lacking knowledge (nothing else) says:

    I would be willing to bet that those of those who commented here did not hear the Honorable Minister’s speech in the House of Representatives. I have studied the course being taken by Minister Faber and assure you that this guy knows what he is doing. The entire response is taken out of context by opponents of Minister Faber, starting with the Hon. Cordel Hyde, who insisted in his presentation that a “plethora” of alternatives should be made available if corporal punishment was going to be taken away from the teachers. What former Minister Hyde conveniently forgot is that under his watch as Minister of Education, that corporal punishment was made illegal for teachers (in the year 2000) and no alternative forms of discipline was put in place. The education system of our little Belize is not bad but can do with a lot of improvement. Previous Ministers of Education have long identified what needs to be improved in our education system but they have not demonstrated the political will to implement such changes. From what I’ve read above, those who have commented have not taken the time to follow the Minister or have some other agenda… let’s support the guy, he is doing an excellent job as far as I can see

  14. tania says:

    I think government should have placed someone with education to be the minister of eduction!!!!!!! maybe Faber has eduction but have u people heard that you have so much education that you get stupid after a while? maybe he’s rite but you don’t go about saying in speeches that teachers are ignorant, what happened to him? he was a teacher, i guess he forgot where he came from, what he did before becoming a minister!!!!!!! they same people he taught n people who taught him put him where he is rite now!!!!!! YOU ARE THE IGNORANT ONE FABER!!!!!!!! Learn how to speak before saying something stupid n making an A@& out of yourself!!!!!!

  15. Pity! says:

    I guess Tania and the others are ignorant of the meaning of ignorant! It’s truly pitiful!

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