The Belize Teaching Services Commission’s (BTSC) has denied the Nazarene Management’s submission to have the principal of Faith Nazarene Primary School be given long leave and thereafter transferred out of the school. As has been reported, there have been tensions between parents and the management of the school as parents have demanded the removal of the principal of Faith Nazarene Primary School in San Ignacio. The parents have picketed, protested, and withheld their children from school over the past week but there has been no clear resolution reached as yet. The Ministry of Education has issued a statement on the matter in which it says that though they recognize and fully support the rights of parents to quality education for their children and the rights of teachers to be treated fairly and justly by their administrators and management, and we quote,
“ Such rights however are not gained by resorting to measures that do not recognize the rights of others to be afforded due process and to be heard in their own defense. In fact, such rights are undermined when the rights of others are undermined. It is the responsibility of all concerned, management, teachers, and parents to follow fair and just processes to resolve any grievances they may have.”
The statement says that the Ministry of Education believes every teacher, in a situation similar to that of the principal, would expect to be treated fairly by being afforded due process including an opportunity for a fair hearing just as every parent, who finds his/her child in a situation similar to that of the principal, would expect that his/her child be treated fairly by being afforded due process including an opportunity for a fair hearing. The release also lays some blame at the feet of the Nazarene school management, saying, and we quote,
“ There is a need for Managing Authorities to improve upon their supervision of their schools for quality assurance purposes and consequently to prevent such situations from developing. Effective and timely supervision of schools would identify performance issues and provide opportunities to document and to address with support where appropriate or with appropriate disciplinary action when called for, especially when such performance issues persist. This appears not to have been the case resulting in the current situation.”
Parents were also reminded that, by law, their children of mandatory school age must attend school. The release says,
“Parents who choose to withhold their children from attending Faith Nazarene Primary School have a legal obligation to find another school for their children to attend.”
The release ends by reiterating the call for all parties involved to give due process an opportunity to take its course.