Back in February of this year it was announced at an education press conference that over one thousand three hundred teachers from primary and secondary institutions are likely to lose their jobs because they did not complete their education training.

In 2000 the Ministry of Education implemented new education rules to regularize the education system which requires all teachers to possess a teaching license, a decade later in 2010, the Ministry of Education amended the Education and Training Act, making it mandatory for teachers to acquire pedagogical training to remain in the classrooms.

At that time, the ministry issued a five-year provisional license to teachers who did not possess training, which now expires. Those teachers who did not proceed to obtain the requisite training now risk losing their jobs unless they obtain a special permit while they are in the process of getting the required pedagogy.

Today District Education Officer here in Orange Walk, Karla Alvarez, advised all teachers in the Orange Walk District who submitted an application for a special permit and were denied that they have a short window in which they can appeal the rejection.

Screen_Shot_2016-06-08_at_8.09.06_PMKarla Alvarez – District Education Manager, Orange Walk

“Those who may have an expired provisional license or even those who applied for the especial permit they would have received a response by now and then there is a window of opportunity where if they did not get the especial permit that they would be able to appeal right, there is an arbitration panel that they will be able to appeal so I believe that there is still that window of opportunity for those who did not get it, you know in some cases there are reasons that insinuating circumstances where maybe at first glance you would not see the reason why the teacher should not get a special permit and therefor the permit was not issued but then the teacher has the opportunity to appeal so in those cases the teacher would be able to appeal but that window of opportunity to appeal is a very short one, I believe that it is coming to end at this point you know, the important thing to note is that no matter what management you belong to you have to have a valid license to teach and if you don’t have a license to teach then you don’t belong in the classroom.”

According to Alvarez, any teacher who failed to comply with the new regulations of the Education Act face the possibility of losing their job as the Ministry of Education will be cracking down on the managements of different schools in this upcoming school year.

Karla Alvarez – District Education Manager, Orange Walk

“We have given ample notice and year and years we’ve been saying and we’ve been sending out memos, we’ve been warning teachers and telling them you need to upgrade, you need to enroll in an institution, you need to have a valid teachers’ license, honestly we still have some teachers in the system that are without a valid license to teach and come the end of this school year if you don’t have a valid license to teach, their management can tell them well I am sorry you can’t take you back because the management is also in a predicament whereby if they employ somebody who doesn’t have a valid license to teach then they can be sanction for that right so nobody wants to be in that position.”

Any teacher who has questions about the process to appeal denial of a special permit should contact the Education Department for more information.

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