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Nov 7, 2012

Education Minister says Unions drag out process; consultation not mandatory

Patrick Faber

The Belize National Teachers’ Union has been up in arms recently, following the ratification of a statutory instrument to amend the Education Rules.  According to the union’s executive, the Ministry of Education fell short of its commitment to allow final criticism of the legal document prior to its approval.  This was to have been done, as said in the union’s press release, at the end of consultations with stakeholders.  The S.I. was gazetted on October sixth and, according to Minister of Education Patrick Faber, allowing the union to review the document would have delayed its passage into law since it would have had to present the proposed legislation to its membership for feedback.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The complaint is that I signed the S.I., the statutory instrument to amend the Education Rules which accompany the Education Act.  All will remember that when we tried to amend or when we tried to introduce the new Education and Training Act of 2010 these rules were to come in along with them, or to come shortly after.  The truth is that we have embarked on changing the rules altogether, a new set of rules.  But that process is taking very long for a number of reasons, including our desire to make sure that all the stakeholders have input on what these new rules are.  But what we have been forced to do in the time in between is to amend the old rules to allow for certain things to happen and for certain things to function, like the Teaching Services Commission.  These rules then are important.  We can’t go back and go through all of this long consultation again because it is important for things to function, like the TSC which the union clamored for and the union said we could not wait for.  You see, the union has this style of wanting consultation every time and they drag it out, drag it out, drag it out, drag it out and we never get back response in a timely manner.  It’s not like their executive body makes decisions on their behalf, they want to take it back to the membership and they have to [go back and forth] so it’s a long drawn out process.  And the truth is, although you know this has never been my style, the truth is that the law, the Education and Training Act says that the minister can amend those rules after consultation with the National Council for Education and the National Council for Vocational and Technical Education and that is it.  It does not say consultation with the unions but I’m not saying that our ministry is not interested in doing that.  I am simply saying that we are on proper legal footing.”


The B.N.T.U. says that the union will be holding consultations and is asking members to get acquainted with the Act. 

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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4 Responses for “Education Minister says Unions drag out process; consultation not mandatory”

  1. Belizean says:

    BNTU lets organize a MASSIVE PROTEST

  2. Storm says:

    It seems a good idea to put in a defined time period for consultation, such as 30 or 60 days. Belize has a lot of problems, and decisions need to be made, not endlessly discussed and debated.

  3. Rod says:

    The whole education dept is in total decline with this incompetent minister of education our po children are suffering because of poor quality of teachers poor quality of schools we used to have the best prepared students in the world but under this gov. All our po children are becoming more and more dunce every single part of life in Belize is in the drain under his useless pm and gov.

  4. it's just that simple says:

    Who cares what the teachers think or want?
    They don’t need agents looking out for their interests, or be treated with respect.
    They just need to go into the classrooms and give passing grades to the next generation of criminals.
    The gangs will give them a diploma after the graduate Prison University.

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