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Jun 26, 2013

Minister says training needed for alternative to corporal punishment

Patrick Faber

At Monday’s press conference held by the Belize National Teachers Union (B.N.T.U.), corporal punishment was one of the various contentious issues raised by the union. Minister of Education Patrick Faber has asserted that teachers are still practicing corporal punishment within the classroom and has demanded that they comply with the rules. The union agrees that teachers should follow the rules, but they in return demand that educators be given training in alternative methods of discipline. There seems to be a compromise within reach of both their positions, since today Faber told News Five that training is the answer.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I think the president of the B.N.T.U. in his presentation answered himself. The alternative to corporal punishment is training for our teachers and that is what we had always said. I listened as the president said that we are waiting to amend the rules or bring in the new rules to start training and I don’t understand where he is going with that. In fact, you remember when the act was actually passed in the national assembly and signed into law, we held back on the section dealing with corporal punishment for six months over which time, all our continuous professional development workshops were geared towards giving strategies. And of course these strategies are also imparted in the training sessions over the Cert-Ed for the associate degree program; the bachelor’s in education program that the various teacher training institutions. The answer my friend and anybody else who has a role to play, has a stake to play is training. And I make the examples time and time again. If you have a teacher who cannot recognize that he is acting up because he may have some learning disorder, if you have a teacher who may not be able to look at a child’s situation and think there is something else going on apart from him acting up. Maybe some problem at home and we are not willing to check into the homes. If you have teachers who don’t implement routine and rules within their classrooms, they are going to have problems with behavior and they are going to feel frustrated and feel that they have to hit children. But if we have teachers who are trained to recognize how children learn; that they can have potential difficulties; that there are things that they can do in order to help to correct the behavior of this children, you won’t feel the need so much to have corporal punishment be there. And I say to the teachers you know and I say to everybody else….if they want to prove me wrong and say that training is not the answer. Then let’s get the training and see if you still can’t handle the children and then I will be the first to go back on what I am saying now. But until then, I think we are at I think fifty-four percent trained teachers at the primary school level. Let’s get it up higher and you will see that you will be less dependent on corporal punishment and you won’t be asking what next, what next, what next…or what is it being replaced by.”

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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3 Responses for “Minister says training needed for alternative to corporal punishment”

  1. Brightman says:

    Corporal punishment is indeed inhumane and simply put, child abuse. It teaches children from an early age that it is ok to be violent against another human being and that problems are solved by violence. There are indeed many alternatives to corporal punishment, and while the onus is on the MoE to lead the charge of seeing that it is made available to all educators, PRINCIPALS collecting very nice salaries should be charged with proactively researching, structuring, and conducting these trainings along with MoE. In many institutions, the principals are often absent from school, and when present are hardly ever seen actively and consistently supervising teaching sessions and school discipline around campus throughout the school day. This needs to change!

  2. belizean says:

    well, i have one issue. why i think the primary level gets low on their PSE is because there are teachers who really cant teach none at all…. their are persons who came from Guatemala and lives in Maya Mopan, Belmopan for a few years then you see them teaching already!! and their are young belizeans who have degrees in Primary Education and cannot even get a job!!

    i would want the Ministry of Education to go see a teacher who is presently teaching at Kuxlin Ha Government School who when she started to teach cannot even speak the english language… and love to hit the children. i know … caz i have a child who is in her class… her surmane is Ms. Tzalam. also just recently her brother and sister is teaching at San Martin Gov’t School in Salvapan……and i know for sure they dont even qualify to teach….especially in the country of Belize..

    see fellow citizens…. you all see why our children are not making it at the PSE Examinations?!!!!

    please DEC look into this….

  3. Retired CEO says:

    Corporal punishment must be defined, some form of punishment is necessary in schools. In life there are rewards and consequences. One of the many reasons why our society/jewel is out of control is due to the lack of law and order and proper methods of punishment. Apparently, most of us want to have our cake and eat it too. Just as natural as their is night and day, There are rewards and consequences. Corporal punishment has been granted to men by the Creator. One should not spoiled the child and spare the rod. Mr. Bright-man discern this???

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