Students, parents and even teachers are caught in what has become a thug of war between the Ministry of Education and the Belize National Teacher’s Union over which date classes should resume, following the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
As you already know, it is customary that the holiday lasts three weeks, which would see classes start on Monday January 9th, but due to the Union’s 11-day protests in October, the Ministry of Education advised Managing Authorities to find ways of making up time and the new date proposed by Managing Authorities is January 3rd.
The BNTU issued a release yesterday indicating to their members – the teachers – that classes shouldn’t open until the 9th. In response, the Ministry of Education issued a statement reminding teachers and parents that school reopens on Tuesday, January 3rd. According to the Ministry, the Government will even provide a bonus to teachers who end up going to school from January 3rd.
As you would imagine, the tug of war of announcements has left teachers and parents dizzy and concerned. Teachers are concerned that if they follow the Union it can lead to serious reprimand from their school management, especially those singing from the same song sheet as the Ministry. Parents are even more worried, as they are afraid to send their children to school only to find out that there are no classes because teachers don’t show up.
We’re not sure how this situation will be resolved as neither the Union nor Ministry seem prepared to compromise. We guess like the October school shutdown, whether your school will open will depend on how many teachers are remaining loyal to their Union versus those who just are weary of the back and forth.