Education Minister Comments on Denial of Leave for Belmopan Mayoral Aspirant
The Minister of Education has weighed in on the Teachers’ Services Commission’s decision to deny UDP Belmopan Mayoral Aspirant Jackie Burns’ application for leave without pay. Yesterday, Burns announced she’s appealing the commission rejection handed down last week. Burns says the request sought to temporarily relieve her of teaching duties at Belmopan Comprehensive School so she could have more campaign time. The career educator now believes the move is politically motivated based on prior instances where teachers seeking political office were provided with approved leave without pay. However, Minister Fonseca says it may be based on other decisions outside of the political arena.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology: “It’s first time I’m hearing about that. I know nothing about that. I don’t know who these individuals are. The TSC is by law an independent entity, authority. So you know I imagine you’d have to speak with the chair of the TSC but I really don’t know anything about that matter. All I would say is that you know we’re above the rules and we’re not below the rules. Everybody should be treated fairly but if you know you can’t be just because you’re running for politics means you’re exempt from certain rules. So I don’t know what the particulars of those cases are but I would imagine campaign I don’t see why you have to campaign during school time, people are not at home.”
Burns now awaits a response from the commission.