Untrained Redundant Teachers to Receive Pension for Life? Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 05 June 2014 00:00

ministry of education and school board officials.jpg - 68.08 KbIn an effort to improve quality of education and maximize resources, Maud Williams, Sadie Vernon and Excelsior High Schools are merging their curricula. This school year the three schools combined to enroll a little more than 500 students. To educate those 500 students the schools had 61 teachers. That is about eight students per teacher when the minimal acceptable ratio is 15 students per teacher. Now that secondary school financing is no longer based on teacher salaries but instead on student enrollment, schools are forced to discontinue such obvious exercise of inefficiency.

The curricula merger has resulted in some teachers being redundant. The schools have not yet finalized how many teachers will be needed for the upcoming school year but it certainly will not be 61. Included in the teachers that will be declared redundant are those who are not trained in pedagogical methods and have not attempted to do so. Minister Faber says those are the teachers he is most disappointed in because the Ministry urged them numerous times and provided ample opportunities for them to get pedagogical training.

The most disappointing thing is those teachers’ stubbornness will not cost them but instead cost every Belizean taxpayer. Minister Faber explains that since the Ministry decided that all teachers released will be deemed to have been redundant, the Government of Belize will have to place them on pension immediately. Whatever age they are; as long as they have been working for the requisite number of years and have been deemed redundant, the laws of Belize states that the Government must place them on a pension plan until they can be reemployed in the profession.

Teachers with pedagogical training may be able to reenter the education system at some other school. Minister Faber says, “Myself and the Ministry of Education will do all we can to find a job in the system for trained teachers who have been declared redundant.” However, untrained teachers will not qualify for a teaching license so will not be able to reenter the profession. Therefore, these untrained teachers will be on pension for the rest of their lives.

In effect, there will be little savings if any for the Ministry of Education. However, the schools will benefit tremendously since they will receive the same amount of financial resources with less teachers on payroll. This excess financial resource will be used for the improvement of the learning environment and quality of education for the students. Minister Faber says, “Expense benefiting the students and improving the level of education is expense we can live with.”       

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2014 18:01