Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019. 9:23 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Minister of Education Patrick Faber says that his ministry is on a campaign to weed out old practices in the education system that are doing disservices to the students and that teachers need to do their part and let go of these practices.
Faber, speaking on the issue of granting time off for teachers in rural schools to go and collect their pay at the end of the month, noted that some schools have become accustomed to giving half days off which is reducing the number of contact hours children have in the classrooms.
“We have situations in a district in this country, Corozal—our district manager is here—where it is half-day every Friday. I kid you not; in rural areas. And it is a problem that we’ve been trying to address,” Faber said.
He added that the ministry provides busses for teachers in remote areas to be able to travel and collect their salaries; however, teachers are still complaining because they want the half-day off, simply because the practice has been in place for a long time.
“I’ll tell you a lot of things are antiquated in this system that people are trying to hold on to when it is causing a slow death of our system,” Faber added.
The issue of schools closing for a half-day has been one that the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teacher’s Union (BNTU) has been battling with for a while, but it became even more pronounced as of last year when the Ministry updated the list of schools where teachers receive hardship allowance, a process which the ministry notes that the BNTU was a part of and did not make any complaints at that time. The BNTU’s leadership contends that it was not silent and did emphasize to the ministry that it could not take a position until it had reported its membership.
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