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PUP condemns government’s decision to slash University of Belize subvention

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Posted: Friday, July 3, 2020. 1:36 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The People’s United Party (PUP) issued a statement today condemning the decision of the Government to slash the University of Belize’s (UB) subvention by 24.2% from $11 million to $8.34 million.

The PUP says that the severe cut will inevitably lead to a reduction in the programs of study offered by UB and likely, to the termination of members of faculty and staff.

“While we recognize and acknowledge the economic crisis facing the country, we view this decision to be misguided and counterproductive. The University of Belize is our National University and the flagship of our education system.   In the last decade, funding to UB has increased by only $1million from $10 million in 2008 to $11 million in 2019.  This has severely undermined UB’s ability and capacity to grow and develop which is unacceptable,” the party said.

The PUP accuses the government of failing to plan and as a result, unable to put the National University on a sound and sustainable financial footing.

The PUP says that after having blown away over $12 billion, $450 million in Petrocaribe funds, $500 million in oil revenues, this failed UDP government now declares itself broke.

The PUP says that the UDP administration has failed to set aside a single dollar for an Education Trust Fund to ensure the ongoing, sustainable financing of the University of Belize.

“We are committed to restoring the annual subvention and in fact, increasing it over the next 5 years.  With increased resources will come the the requirement for greater accountability, better quality teachers, improved student performance and a stronger demonstrated commitment to national service and development,” the party added.

The PUP also condemned the disrespect shown to the UB Faculty and Staff Union (UBSFU) by the Board of Trustees and the Ministry of Education.

The PUP stated that the Union must be consulted and given the opportunity to participate fully and meaningfully in all Board meetings and decisions. The Faculty Representative on the Board must be recognized and respected.

 

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