Principals of secondary schools have expressed their dissatisfaction with the Ministry of Education’s announcement for an automatic promotion of students into a higher level for the upcoming academic year. The announcement from the Ministry came on April 20 when the Education Minister, Patrick Faber addressed the public on how they intend to move forward due to inability to reopen schools. According to Faber, pre-primary, primary and secondary school students would automatically move up to the next level and teachers would monitor their progress throughout the new school year. Love News understands that the Belize Association of Principals for Secondary School (BAPSS), however, was not in agreement with the ministry’s announcement and has since registered their discontent. According to the Chief Education Officer, Dr Carol Babb, each school’s administration has the right to reassess the situation but, she is appealing that the institutions exercise consideration of the COVID-19 situation and the adjustment students have had to make from the traditional learning system to online schooling.
Dr.Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: “Today I’m sending out a memo appealing to secondary schools to managing authorities to ask them to kindly bear in mind that we are in a pandemic that it’s a very difficult time for everyone and I know that we don’t have any control over their promotion and assessment policies that’s left to the individual secondary schools so we’re asking them we know that they are the ones who will determine who will be promoted or who will not be promoted but we are asking them to be mindful, to be compassionate and to realize that this an extremely difficult time for everyone. So wherever it is possible we are asking that children be promoted and be given the opportunity once they get into the new class provide them with support with interventions to ensure that they’re up to speed or up to the level that the teachers expect them to be. At the primary level the education rules speak to automatic promotion, at the secondary level it’s different it’s dependent on the high school’s academic policies and procedures. We have met with the managing authorities and we have appealed to them and we are hoping that they will you know just be compassionate, be understanding at this time. This is a difficult time, an unprecedented time that no one in this lifetime has experienced so we’re asking them to be mindful of that.”
Love News tried contacting the Chairlady of Belize’s Association of Principals for Secondary School, Heidi Curry, but our calls went unanswered. We will keep following this story.