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In 2009 the Ministry of Education came up with the idea of a Teaching Services Commission. At first there was tremendous concern from affected parties especially in the private education sector towards the forming of the Commission. The reason is that the Commission would basically be the highest authority in charge of all major decisions in the education sector. Passing authority to the Commission would mean that they would have authority over all 5,000 teachers in the country in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.

But despite the concern, the Belize Teaching Services Commission was officially made into a reality on January 14th of this year. Today, after putting together a plan to implement it, the Ministry personnel are touring the country to promote it.

Judy Diego is the appointed chairlady of the Belize Teaching Services Commission and she was at the Corozal ITVET today sharing information on the Commission to the secondary and tertiary level representatives of the north.

diegoJudy Diego- Chairlady BTSC

“We are on a tour of the three regions in the country of Belize delivering a training workshop to all of our stakeholders so that they will be aware of the roles and functions of the teaching service commission and their collaborative role with the commission.”

Apart from sharing information, Diego told us today that the first thing the Commission is looking at is ensuring that all educational institutions verify that teachers possess a teaching license.

Judy Diego- Chairlady BTSC

“We have two main objectives, one is for our stakeholder to empower stakeholder so that they would understand what the role of the commission is all about and for them to understand how they should be working with us, so we are sharing information pertaining to the functions of the commission which is one, to enforce standards set by the ministry of education and standards mean exactly what we are looking for teachers to teach in our schools and secondly, we are looking at how we are going to issue licenses. This time around all the teachers in the country of Belize will be required to apply for a teaching licence before they can enter any institution in Belize to teach.”

This is the first of many awareness workshops to be carried out in the country. From here the Commission will be looking at the curriculum standards of each institution guaranteeing that they meet regional standards.

Judy Diego- Chairlady BTSC

“We are targeting the Corozal and the Orange Walk districts. Yesterday we were here targeting the primary level, the local managers and the general managers. Today we are targeting the secondary levels, speaking to principals of these schools, deans and also to the chairpersons of the boards, so we need to empower them so that they would understand how they can work with us in order to get this initiative forward because this is to ensure quality in our schools.”

The Belize Teaching Services Commission will be moving on to Cayo tomorrow to hold the same workshop for teachers in that zone. So far they have covered the North, Belize District and the Southern zone.

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