Posted: Wednesday, May 18, 2022. 8:23 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: Following the public breakdown of a teacher at St. Luke Methodist School captured on social media, the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU) is taking on both school managements and the Ministry of Education, stating that an investigation must be conducted “in a manner that safeguards due process to ensure that justice prevails.”
The BNTU charges that the Ministry of Education has refused to enforce the Education Rules as amended in 2012 with regard to sanctioning school managements and disciplining administrators in keeping with the core principle, “to keep under scrutiny and consideration, the operations of the Educational Laws and all Rules and Regulations arising there from, so as to ensure that they serve the best interest of Education.”
The Ministry must act to ensure that teachers are treated with impartiality and respect and hold school managements accountable for lack of proper supervision of schools and disregarding their roles under the Education Rules, the Union continued.
It called for a renewed focus on mental health by revising the workload and demands imposed on teachers and revisiting the system implemented at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, and developing a proper system of counselling for teachers as a necessity for the national good.
To teachers it says are suffering in silence, the Union asks for them to reach out so that it can intervene as it denounces all forms of injustice, abuse and infringement on the rights of members, including actions taken by members of the Union against their fellows.
The Union closes by reminding that leaders should be transformational and not tyrants to those under their leadership, and says it will take a role in working with the school management board and the Ministry to resolve the situation properly.
The teacher in question posted a 14-minute video sharing her story of alleged victimization, the day-to-day challenges she faces with administrators, including being called into the principal’s office for engaging the services of an attorney to defend her claim to use facilities at the school during the pandemic and being forcibly restricted to the classroom during her one-hour lunch break impinged on personal time.
Chair of the Board for Methodist Schools Senator Reverend Moses Benguche told Channel 5 News that he has spoken to both sides and promised to do his best to ensure the dispute is worked out.
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