There has been another issue that the BNTU had brought up last week and that has to do with the CPD hours or the continued professional development Hours. These hours have to do with extra investments that teachers are required to take in developing their skills and specialty. Teachers are required to complete 120 CPD hours. For now, the ministry has agreed to have these hours waived for licenses that will expire this year. According to the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, this decision was made when they met with the Belize National Teacher’s Union on December 9. In speaking to Faber he gave us a break down of how that agreement will be carried out in the coming years.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports: “What we agreed to just now was that we would look at things differently for the various different levels of schools. So our final agreement was that for primary school where they agreed that it is much easier to access the CPDs that we would lower the requirement for 2021. So in 2021 a teacher whose license comes to expiration will only require a hundred hours of CPD in order for that license to be renewed; the teacher would have to demonstrate a hundred hours completed and that the early childhood preschool and secondary level that we would have another year waiver so that in 2021 in addition to 2020 and 2019 which are now already ongoing there would be a waiver. So if your license comes to an end this year 2020 or next year 2021 and you’re at the pre primary or secondary level then you will not be required to meet the requirement of the hundred and twenty CPDs in order for you to renew your licence but in the following year of 2022 the requirement will be one hundred credit hours or CPD hours and in the following year of 2023 then we would resume the hundred and twenty CPD hours.”
Minister Faber also stated that the Ministry has considered the queries from teachers on the quality and availability of these workshops for their CPD hours. He noted that a task force has been established to fine-tune workshops for CPD hours.
Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education Youth and Sports: “We accepted the complaint that things are not set up in a planned and organized manner , that these CPDs can be met in order to fill the requirement and so we have agreed that we will set up a task force that will work diligently over the next three months to ensure that we have offerings of these CPDs and that all stakeholders will participate; the managements, the Ministry, the BNTU we will work on online offerings, we will work on the content, we will work on pedagogy and all areas that we believe are needed to be offered in these CPDs. We will work on quality as well because that is a complaint so that task force we’re hoping can conclude it’s business by may so that in the summer month of August when the CPDs are due, although I hate to say that because CPDs can be done at any time but we can feel comfortable and the membership of the union can feel comfortable, those teachers can feel comfortable that by later on this year CPDs at all levels will be available in abundance to meet their needs at whatever level they want to pursue in order to meet the requirements that are going to come.”
Patrick Faber noted that these workshops will be available to teachers in an abundance within the next 3 months.