Monday, September 1, 2014. PATRICK E. JONES Reporting: The first day of the new school year was full of chaos and controversy at the El Progresso Government School in the Cayo district.
The situation escalated to where the parents refused to allow their children into classes when they learned that the principal of the school Mr. Cano had been placed on administrative leave.
The Principal was working with the teachers as late as Sunday afternoon when a meeting was held with parents at the school in the village, located at mile 7 on the Mountain Pine Ridge Road.
The reasons for the suspension of the Principal are not clear, but one reason is believed to be a letter from a couple of parents alleging misconduct and misbehaviour by the veteran teacher.
When it became clear that classes would not be convening as expected, the village chairman called the Education Office in San Ignacio to report the situation and a team from the District Education Center was quickly dispatched to the village to deal with the situation.
On their arrival, the education officials, accompanied by a team of police officers from San Ignacio town, met first with the Chairman of the village and then with the teachers.
Following those two meetings, the education officials met with the parents who had gathered in one of the classrooms.
In that meeting, Mr. Luis Carballo explained that situation is being carefully looked at by the Ministry of Education and that a meeting with the General Manager for public schools will be held to fully ventilate all the angles in the case.
Mr. Carballo could not give a definitive date and time for that meeting, but promised the parents that due notice will be given to them whenever that meeting is set.
In the meantime, Mr. Carballo told the parents that he has asked Mr. Canto who is a senior staff member to supervise the teachers until the situation is resolved.
The education officials asked the parents to work with the teachers who remain to ensure that there is no more interruption of classes for the students.
The parents gave their undertaking to send their children to school on Tuesday, September 2, so technically that will be the first day of classes at the El Progresso Government School for the 2014-2015 academic year.
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