Posted: Monday, August 3, 2020. 3:39 pm CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) President Elena Smith, said today that union members have expressed serious health and safety concerns regarding the reopening of schools on August 10, and that the union is preparing to meet with the Ministry of Education (MOE) to address those concerns.
Smith said that the BNTU is working with its members as teachers return to their respective schools today, to get an idea of how prepared schools are for the reopening. However, she noted that the union has been doing its own checks and the findings have not been good so far.
“We have been doing some checks with schools to see how prepared they are for reopening and based on what we’ve seen, we have not seen how those schools are prepared for reopening. They don’t have what it is that they need and those who have will not be able to sustain those supplies for the remainder of the term, even worse the school year,” Smith said.
She stressed that teachers, parents, and students have a right to be fearful about the reopening, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a threat worldwide and Belize’s risk factors are increasing due to border jumpers. Smith alluded to the fact the MOE’s protocols, which have been established for reopening lack a degree of connection with the people working on those protocols and the reality in the schools.
“Many of the persons who are saying ‘All is well’ and ‘The plan looks solid,’ none of those persons are going to be in those classrooms. All of those persons have their offices or they work from home or whatever, but they will not be in the position where our teachers and students will be,” Smith added.
She said that the union will be liaising with its membership later today in preparation for the meeting with the Ministry tomorrow.
This is a developing story.
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