Tonight the burning question on everyone’s mind continues to be, will classes resume early in the new year- on January third? That continuous to be the date implemented by the Ministry of Education and the School Managements but the BNTU tonight remains on the position that classes will resume as regularly scheduled……on January the ninth.

 

Screen_Shot_2016-12-29_at_7.57.47_PMLuke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union


“For the Union we say that classes resume on the 9th of January.”


Reporter


“Do you regret the confusion that all this standoff really caused?”


Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union


“Well to say that we regret might be so but we are more concerned that after all our efforts, all our attempts trying to get the management and ministry to the table with us try and ensure that there this smooth transition after the court ruling at least up to this point giving us granting the injunction that things could have work out for the intention of all of our citizens but the bottom line remains that our teachers and our students deserve their three weeks holiday, the rules very important that the rules should have been followed and probably indeed the time off, the making up of the time that we’ve lost during the strike action could have been done probably at this time indeed but our position remains that we cannot continue to be or to have people violating the rules and the laws and it just go unattended to.”

 

The Union also had a response for those who feel that its membership should take the higher road and act in the best interests of students and make up the time now.


Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union


“There will be those who probably listen to their management, there will those who will listen to the Unions, we are appealing to our teachers just like how they supported us in the strike action that they support us on the principle that the matter of making up the time is the prerogative of the management and the teachers coming together and then making the recommendation to the ministry and not the other way around as it has happened now. We respect his view, we respect the views of the parents, the children a number of parents have met us when the announcement was made prior to the closure of school that they are very much concern that they have made their plans for their children and themselves to celebrate their three weeks Christmas holidays in different fashion some out of the country, some in other parts of the country and so therefore they are with the Union in terms of adhering to the rules and school calendar that was set out by the ministry initially where school would have been reopen on the 9th of January so we again are saying to the parents our teachers continue to prepare our students for the exams that they have great concern about that we are aware of that but our teachers have been doing extra classes for preparation for the PSE, for the BJAT exam which would have gone some time ago and of course for the preparation for CXC and the exams that students would take at the end of their junior college year so we don’t think that the school reopening on the 9th will have any grave negative effect in fact during this Christmas holidays students were given assignments to take home.”


While there seems to be no end in sight to the uncertainty of when classes will resume in the New Year as the BNTU and the Ministry of Education continue at a standoff, President of the BNTU, Luke Palacio, today outlined -what needs to transpire for an agreement to be reached.


Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union


“The BNTU is open to dialogue but the BNTU is also an independent entity and for anybody who wants to try and dictate to the BNTU how and who they will meet with we are not going to accept that because we do not say to anybody that wants to meet with us these are the persons  who you should bring to meet with us, not even the Prime Minister of this country have said you will meet with me but you can only bring the President or two persons so why is it that the minister at the time when he wanted the meeting insisted that he would only meet with five members of the council of management that is not how we operate.”


Reporter


“So at this stage what would be required that people from the ministry calling those the management and the BNTU to come together as well as school management to decide if we start on the 3rd or the 9th?”


Luke Palacio – President of Belize national Teachers’ Union


“That would be ideal but again remember one of the contention that will or one of the matters that will still need to be address is that the teachers are on holiday and the labor laws are clear if you take me off my holidays you would have to compensate me for it that is a matter that would have to be clarified heard out or any other decision is made.”

 

The Orange Walk branch of the BNTU will have a membership meeting tomorrow at 2:00pm to discuss the return to classes and it is likely that other branches will do the same in coming days. 

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