Education Minister Patrick Faber also responded to the BNTU’s decision not to financially contribute to this year’s Teachers Day event. The event will be held on a national level at the Civic in Belize City. The BNTU says it does not money to contribute and today Minister Faber told the press that the event will go on as planned.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “And you will understand that the union collects the dues of the teaches on a monthly basis to do the kinds of things the Union President spoke about; the eleven days, documentary and these kinds of demonstrations or rallies to support certain causes that is neither here nor there. The celebration of teachers is an annual event and I’m sure that no teacher in that union would vote for sacrificing contributions to teachers day as a result of doing that because in fact their monies should be covering all of that. Remember when there was the strike and I had insisted that there was a strike fund to cover the payment of the teachers who were not paid or at the time it was suggested were not going to be paid by the Government and the Management- remember what they said? That money is not for that, that strike fund they said was for the kind of protest activities so how is it now that it is that same regular money that they used for events like teachers’ day now that they are saying went into that kind of thing, well then where is the strike fund money? Well that is BNTU affairs. I will tell the Belizean nation now Teachers Day will go on on May 18th and it will be a grand event sponsored by your Government in order to show the kind of appreciation that our teachers deserve. This nation has a lot of gratitude for our teachers, that does not mean that all is well, there is a lot to be desired in terms of the services of some teachers but we have many great teachers and I don’t think it will help us if we don’t celebrate our teachers. So the BNTU could pull out of it if they want to me that sends the signal that they are not appreciative of our teachers, they don’t want to celebrate our teachers in that way but the Government is not of that same view.”
The budget for the event is said to be around one hundred thousand dollars.