San Ignacio Primary School parents want principal removed

There are reports of growing contention in the Arms of Love Primary School in the Kontiki Area of San Ignacio. On Friday January 23rd Parents gathered at the school compound holding placards advocating for the immediate removal of the principal.

In 2012 the parents filed a complaint to the Ministry of Education, who in turn got in contact with the management of the school, and advised them on a way forward. Two and a half years later and the parents say nothing has been done.

Inga Guy, President of the Parent Teacher’s Association, spoke to Plus News.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-28-06h10m08s218Inga Guy – Parent Teachers Association President

“For the past two and a half years we have endured many injustices under the hand of our Principal.  After those two and a half years, the parents, we are tired.  Management has not done anything to help us.  They’ve covered their ears and [are] blind to our complaints.  We want a change for our children and the teachers, because they are the ones who are victimized.”

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vlcsnap-2015-01-28-06h10m32s225Concerned Parent

“The Principal doesn’t have the PR to deal with the teachers. So the teachers go from the school, and then they have our children there with no teachers.  What happens?  They send them home without the parents’ consent.   They don’t know what’s going on.  They send the students back home, walking by themselves.  If something happens to the children, who is responsible for it?  They don’t even notify their parents about what’s going on with the school.  They don’t even notify the parents to come [and] pick up the children.”

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Inga Guy

“Our first letter was filed October 12, 2012, a complaint against Miss Carmen Garcia. The Ministry told me they had advised the Manager and the actions he should take concerning the complaints, but he did nothing.  That’s why today we are here, 2015, with the same complaint.”

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Arms of Love Primary is a church/state school managed by the Arms of Love church and their umbrella group International Church Foursquare of Belize. The protest on Friday prompted an emergency meeting between Parents and managers.

Pastor Dale Hulse, the newly elected President for the International Church Foursquare of Belize, spoke to Plus News on Friday after the meeting.

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vlcsnap-2015-01-28-06h38m36s154Pastor Dale Hulse

“We are trying to resolve the situation at the school, and so we are here to hear the concern of the parents, and to decide what is the next step. 

I have appealed to the parents to allow the process to work.  In everything that we do there are processes  that we need to follow.  I understand that the parents frustrated, and again I appeal to them to give us a chance to get these things straightened out. 

I am going to have a meeting with the Ministry of Education and we will chart a way forward.”

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Inga Guy

” Well, we have to wait until the procedures take place, but the parents are tired, so on Monday if Miss Carmen is present at the school, we will not allow our children to enter the school.  We will strike, and we know we have the right to do that.”

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vlcsnap-2015-01-28-06h14m26s219And strike they did! On Monday January 26th a large percentage of the parents did not send their children to school. Those who did, took their children home at around 9 o clock in the morning leaving the classrooms almost empty.

On Tuesday, we contacted the Local Education Manager of San Ignacio ,Luis Carballo,  who informed us that a meeting between the Ministry, the school management and two members of the Parent Teacher’s Association is set for Thursday January 29th.,  to discuss the best way forward.

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