Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016. 6:20 p.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Education just issued a press release informing the public that in accordance with the Education and Training Act 2010, the Education Rules of 2000 and the Education (Amendment) Rules of 2012, it is the Ministry’s and Managing Authorities’ legal mandates to ensure the continuity of classes.
This comes after the Belize National Teachers Union announced that they will go on strike on Monday, October 3, 2016.
“All parents, guardians, students, teachers, principals, and the wider public are hereby informed that the Minister and senior officials of the Ministry met with General Managers of Primary Schools and Principals and Board Chairpersons of Secondary Schools today, September 28, 2016 to articulate and collaborate in putting in place contingency plans should there be strike action by the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU),” states the release.
According to the Ministry of Education, the purpose of such contingency plans is to ensure the continuity of classes, ensure the safety of students and teachers present at school, and alleviate the burden on parents/guardians in making arrangements for the care and education of their children during industrial action.
The release states that following were discussed today at the meeting:
The Ministry of Education and the Attorney General’s Ministry will prepare a Statutory Instrument that will provide authority for the temporary employment of emergency replacements to substitute during industrial action.
Potential emergency replacements will be recruited by Managing Authorities to be deployed if necessary if industrial action exceeds a certain amount of days.
Replacements could come from among retired teachers and unemployed teachers with Full or Provisional Licences.
To provide for a broader pool of emergency replacements, the purpose of the Permit to Teach will be expanded to make it valid for employment as an emergency replacement during industrial action.
Managing Authorities will identify suitable parents/guardians and Church members, who are willing to assist, for them to obtain a Permit to Teach to serve as potential emergency replacements. Persons holding a Permit to Teach will only be able to be employed as emergency replacements during industrial
Emergency replacements should be ready for employment/deployment should strike action extend beyond two (2) days. In the interim, Managing Authorities and Schools are to assess their situation and put in place contingency plans to ensure schools are open for those days.
Parents, guardians, students, teachers, principals, Managing Authorities and school bus operators are informed that school buses will run their normal schedules.
The Ministry and Managing Authorities assert that the purpose of devising and putting in place these contingency plans is in order to fulfill the Ministry’s, the wider Government’s, and the Managing Authorities’ legal mandate for the provision of sufficient and efficient education.
The release ends by saying that ,“This is to ensure that students are not deprived of valuable instructional contact time and to alleviate the burden on parents/guardians in making arrangements for the care and education of their children during industrial action.”
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