The new academic year is in full swing on both the primary and secondary levels. Things are not peachy keen, however, as some teachers are struggling and faced with challenges. President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Elena Smith, spoke on some of the issues registered with the union.
Smith also stated that since teachers must report to school, they had requested to be allowed to take their children with them, but according to Smith this idea was shot down.
Senator Elena Smith, President, Belize National Teachers Union: “These teachers have to be moving away from home and then they have to leave their children at home and so when the children are at home they have to have somebody who can be there to handle them and they feel that the children would be more exposed being left at home and they are so far away rather than the teacher taking that child to school with him or her. So for example if I have a ten year old child and I want to take the child to my class there can be gatherings of ten so I’ll be in a class with myself and my child and so that is not against the number of persons that can gather and so they thought that the Ministry would have at least understood the situation and be able to assist them by allowing them to have a child with them in the classroom. That we are told that that cannot happen because the NOC, all of the reasons that we have been given is that the Oversight Committee says these things and so the Oversight Committee we have been told does not support the teacher taking his or her child to school. Again the teachers we’re just asking for some consideration. If I have to be at school everyday I have no issue with being at school everyday but you know try to meet me half way in some way where I can do my work, help my students and help my child at the same time.”
Smith still thanked teachers and parents for their hard work and dedication to the students’ education during this time.