4 Catholic schools in Benque have joined the Mount Carmel Primary School protest today. At the top of the list is the case of one teacher who reportedly is not allowed to teach after her license expired on September 9, even though she had applied and was given a special permit since July and became effective on the same day her license expired. The school administration and teachers are also protesting the lack of payment for 3 teachers over a three month period. The principal of Mount Carmel Primary School Melvin Manzanero says that 100 teachers and some parents participated in today’s protest.
Melvin Manzanero: The process began early this morning at around 8:30. A rally in school and then from there we proceeded the demonstration at 9 o’clock through the main streets of Benque Viejo Town and then we concluded here at school. The school had joined along and the sister schools within the Catholic Management here in Benque which are four schools.
Jose Sanchez: Which schools?
Melvin Manzanero: The schools that participate along with us are R&R School, Immaculate Conception RC, we have Holy Cross from Hollow Creek as well that joins with us as well as some parents.
Jose Sanchez: Any comment from the Teachers Service Commission or from the Ministry of Education regarding the payments for those three teachers and the teacher who was being retired?
Melvin Manzanero: “At the moment I don’t have, I don’t know if management have received any in terms of that. I believe that is the reason for the meeting this afternoon. Demonstrations has just concluded so what follows from here I believe that message from the local manager saying we are having a meeting sometime today; this afternoon and our teachers are as usual waiting in full pending of the outcome of today and then to see if all goes well and if we go back in resuming classes for Monday.
In addition to the 937 students of Mount Carmel being out of class, students from Arenal, Succotz and Calla Creek Catholic schools were also out of class as they are all sister institutions. The Manager and Principals will meet with the Chief Education Officer and other stakeholders to try to resolve the situation this afternoon.