Teachers and staff at Faith Nazarene Primary School are on strike, demanding the removal of principal Policarpia Pech, who has been accused of and denies mismanagement. Her case has been taken to the Teaching Services Commission (TSC) and in the meantime the General Manager of Nazarene Schools has control of day to day management duties. Minister of Education Patrick Faber told reporters that they continue to monitor the situation but it is important that due process take its course.
Hon. Patrick Faber: Well as I’ve always said in these matters. The managing authority of the school is first responsible to try to solve the issue. In this case it is the Nazarene Primary School Management and so as I understand it, they are the ones who are taking this on. Now the ministry is involved, in fact our education officers are the district manager Mr. Carballo and I’ve seen other education officers from the Cayo District Center be involved in the discussions. They have been involved with the discussions but at this point it is not at a point where the ministry will necessarily go in and take a hold of thee situation. We give the management a chance to work it out, and in fact indeed there are to be disciplinary measures, it is the commission, who I stress at this point is not controlled by the Ministry of Education but by various different Stakeholder bodies. The Ministry is one of the Stakeholders on the commission but there can be no kind of domination on the part of the ministry on the Teaching Services Commission.
While he personally has no knowledge of the discussions – the Ministry being represented on the Commission by Chief Education Officer Dr. Christopher Aird and in his judgment not a matter for public consumption unless a safety issue is involved for children the Minister had these words for anxious parents and staff.
Hon. Patrick Faber: I say this to the parents and community that are involved in this situation and I also make this point to other communities, other parents from other schools who might have a similar or maybe a similar but at a lesser level the kind of disturbance or the kind of issue that that school has in Cayo that we need to be very careful that it is not ruled by the mob. We cannot just, because we are not happy with something, or somethings that a principal or a teacher for that matter, anybody who is engaged in education at the school level just simply because we’re not pleased we go in there and try to remove people by mob. There is due process and the system is set up for that to occur, and I ask people to be patient. I know that sometimes there are lot of tensions involved in these kinds of situations nut if we allow or rule by mobs, then it is going to take us down a very very dangerous path. So we ask for
patience and we asked all those involved to allow the process to go through as it should and then let’s try to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.