On October 27, the Belize National Teachers’ Union, BNTU, fired off a statement in which it placed on record its “condemnation of the four Ministers of the United Democratic Party, UDP, who were no-shows of the meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, PAC.” The PAC was supposed to meet the previous day, October 26, in Belmopan but only the Chairman, Julius Espat and Kareem Musa presented themselves. The other members of the Committee were absent. The BNTU interpreted the absence of the UDP Ministers as “an obvious BOYCOTT of the process and blatant disrespect of the Belizean populace who voted them to serve and are deserving of a proper account of all public funds.” However, it was later learned that the government did not boycott the PAC meeting. Today, Minister of Education, Patrick Faber was asked to comment on the BNTU’s action.
Patrick Faber – Deputy Prime Minister
“I continue to be disappointed. When that release was put out by the BNTU they didn’t bother to check with the government. I don’t know that they contacted the clerk or attempted to ask anybody who is on the committee whether or not there was a boycott. They determined that based on the report or release put out by the opposition members. So it has to beg the question and we all suspect this has been the case that they’re wrapped up very very tightly with the opposition party. In fact, you will see that their favorite lawyer in all their deliberations, all of their protests is with Eamon Courtney who you now see showing his true colors all over the place. So they are wrapped up very tightly with the opposition and that is something that I believe the teachers of this country are now observing as well. Listen as we look at some of the ills in the education system there is a lot to be desired in terms of what teachers need to be doing and I ‘m not criticizing the teachers necessarily at this point but the union is supposed to be championing the cause of the teachers and they have gone silent on advancing on the development of teachers in this country. They seem to be in the business now of trying to interfere in the wider national politics which is not a crime if you are taking care of your constituents at home but they seem to have neglected completely the number one job of the union which is to look out for the best interest of the professional services of the teachers.”