It is the start of the new school year. Tuition has been paid, books have been bought and students are beginning to flood the classrooms. But the situation for Gwen Lizaragga High School is still grim as low student enrollment and the reasons for that are currently being examined. The school management is facing tough decisions on how to stay financially viable while providing a sound education. Today, the school board held a meeting which was attended by the Minister of Education, CEO of Education and the National President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Elena Smith. Smith told Love News that decisions regarding the school will be made very soon.
National President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Elena Smith: We were told that the board has some recommendations that they will forward to the Ministry and the Union will be invited to meet with Board and staff so that we can ensure that whatever decisions that they have made that the process that they would be using would be one that is fair to all those concerned that they would be as per Education rules and so we don’t have any concrete details as to the number of teachers who will be sent home if any because that is still uncertain at this time if any would be going home right away but we do know that they will be putting things in place to ensure that it has as little impact as possible on the staff of Gwen Liz. “
Jose Sanchez: “I do know there are teachers who have been there probably close to two decades if not more. No clue whether or not they are looking at seniority or education or what would the means be if that was the route they were going or how to restructure the school to encourage more enrollment ?”
National President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Elena Smith: Right the Ministry says that they would be working with the board and the administration to see if they can put together some sort of plan so that they would be able to have some strategy in place to attract students to come to the school probably for the next school year and beyond. At this time there is nothing in place for this school year because it is already the start of the school year. In terms of how they would go about looking at those teachers who they would maybe look at in terms of those who would have to go it would have to be. I wouldn’t say seniority that they would look at first. One of the things normally comers would look at they would say last in first out. I cannot say that will work in this situation because a teacher may have come in last but that teacher may be qualified and so there may be persons who has been there for many years but might not have full licence so there are many things they have to look at in terms of making a decision as to who would be kept and who would have to go out but as I said earlier. There has been no decision as far as we understood today. “
We will continue following the situation at Gwen Liz High School.