Last week Thursday, the Opposition and the Belize National Teacher’s Union condemned the Government-appointed members of the Public Accounts Committee for being absent at a scheduled meeting. PAC should review the Auditor General’s audit of Government finances dating to fiscal year 2012-2013, but the first meeting could not proceed because neither Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber, Tracy Taegar-Panton, John Saldivar nor Frank “Papa” Mena were in attendance. Today Deputy Prime Minister Faber commented on the BNTU’s reaction.


Screen_Shot_2017-11-02_at_8.00.17_PMHonourable Patrick Farber – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education


“Am not surprised but am continued 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 released put out by the Opposition members, so it has to beg the question and we all suspect that this has been the case that they are wrapped up very, very tightly with the Opposition party, in fact you will see that their favorite lawyer in all their deliberation, all of their protest is with Eamon Courtney who you now see showing his true colors up 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.”


The Minister of Education also said that the Union should be focused on more urgent matters in education, and suggested that in that area, they might be slipping down a bit.


Honourable Patrick Farber – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education


“There is a lot to be desired in terms of what teachers need to be doing and am not criticizing the teachers necessarily on this point but the Union is supposed to be championing the cause of the teachers and they have gone silent on advancing the development of teachers in this country the y 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 seemed 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.”


Reporter


“It sounds like if you don’t want them to watch dog you?”


Honourable Patrick Farber – Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education


“I very much want them to be a part of what it is we are doing and if that requires them to watch dog am inviting them to come and watch dog me in the ministry of education which ought to be their first priority, I’ll give you a simple example: the law says, the education on training act says that a member of the National Assembly cannot be a member of the Teaching Services Commission which everybody now knows it’s the chief body that governs the services of teachers in this country, there cannot be any priority that is more important to the Teachers Union than ensuring that somebody is sitting on that entity, their president is the person who they have traditional sent but because their President is a Senator, a member of the National Assembly that person now cannot fill the seat on the TSC and they prefer to hold on to the national spotlight as opposed to taking on their primary role of looking out for the services of the teachers so I would hope and I am checking the ground to see if it is the case and I am getting that strong vibe that the teachers are now seeing right through some in the BNTU who have that political agenda to put forward.”

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