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Disciplinary Problems Faced In Schools

In 2011, Minister of Education Patrick Faber had announced the abolishment of corporal punishment in the schools and that the teachers and principals would have to come up with other alternatives for disciplining the students.

PATRICK FABER (April 1, 2011)

On June 24, 2013, President of the Belize National Teachers Union, Luke Palacio had raised the question as to what the alternatives would be.  There wasn’t any definitive alternatives put into place but reportedly, the onus was on the school management to devise a discipline strategy.  Last month, there was a situation in a Belize City primary school where an 11-year-old little girl was touched inappropriately by one of her classmates followed by an attempt to bully the little girl into not telling the teacher.  The child reported the matter nonetheless and the parent had called in the police to deal with the incident.  It was a case of frustration as the police were saying that once the child is under eleven, he cannot be held accountable for his actions; on the other hand the school principal was saying that their hands are tied when it comes to punishment as the Ministry of Education has limited them as to what they can do and therefore the most the school can do is suspend the child for one day which would take tedious paper work for the school to send to the ministry.  Earlier this week, there was a grandparent who called into The Morning Show expressing dissatisfaction at how the teachers and principal of a primary school were dealing with matters requiring discipline.  The caller who is a trained teacher told her story.


Following the first incident, Love News had spoken to the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Education, David Leacock to find out where exactly the ministry stands when it comes to discipline in the schools.  According to Leacock the principals are not limited to suspension days for students.


The caller on The Morning Show went on to speak of the importance and necessity of the teachers and principal to make the protection of the students a priority.


Education Week 2011 saw the signing of a statutory instrument that brought into force the removal of corporal punishment in all Belize’s schools.