The Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) continues to campaign for salary adjustment and as we had reported on Monday’s news cast, BNTU will host a series of rallies every Friday for the month of January starting on the North (Orange Walk and Corozal) this Friday, January 10th. Such rallies, we were told, are for the purpose of educating the public on issues concerning salary adjustments of teachers and public servants.These educational rallies are to take place in the district capitals starting in the North; however, it is not met without resistance.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports sent out a press release this morning stating that the BNTU has not sought permission from the Chief Education Officer (or addressed it to anyone in the Ministry for that matter)hold these rallies scheduled for the 10th and 17th of January. Emanuel Pech has the report.
Emanuel Pech: “The Ministry stated that “No permission has been granted” and that teachers are being discouraged from attending these rallies. According to the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, it is the norm to request for permission from the Chief Education Officer to hold such rallies and demonstrations during school days as it has been done in the past. Furthermore, the Ministry states that this violates Rule 133 of the Education Rules (2000) and contradicts the spirit of partnership between BNTU and the Ministry of Education. However the BNTU flatly denied this and categorically labelled this as an attempt on the part of the Ministry to intimidate teachers not to attend the rallies. BNTU President Luke Palacio gave us his response. The scheduled rally for Orange Walk will begin tomorrow at Queen Square, Orange Walk Town at 9:00 am. For Plus News, Emanuel Pech.
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sport Hon. Patrick Faber, held a press briefing earlier today in which he addressed this issue. here is his response to the BNTU’s persistence on carrying on with the scheduled rallies.
“My position is that it is rather unfortunate. As our release states, we really believe that because of a number of issues, but especially because of the rains, we have lost a lot of valuable time in the classroom and I am sure that the teachers will agree to this. So, for something like this to be the reason why they would call offs coats to me is really disappointing and unfortunate. I don’t see that this is reason and this is a personal view that I have had for so long. Why these meetings or these rallies indicates they made the mere distinction that this is not a meeting- it is a rally. Why can’t be done on a Friday or on a non school day if it is that they want to make a point if they really are wanting to show a concern for the students. We are appealing to better judgments; I am appealing to those teachers who are of course mindful that we have lost of valuable time, that in fact we are moving now in the
Minister Faber pointed out that regardless of what BNTU has been saying, the Ministry of Education has not received any official notice of any sort about the these rally’s and that the Ministry wishes to be as amicably as possible in this issue.