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Fate of Gwen Liz Teachers Still Uncertain

Fate of Gwen Liz Teachers Still Uncertain
August 29
18:15 2018

Teachers of Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City, which is facing critically low student enrollment, are still not sure of their individual status of employment with the school following a meeting with the school’s board and Ministry of Education officials this week.

According to Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) President, Elena Smith, classes resumed on Monday and teachers met with the school and were informed of the crisis. As had previously been reported, teachers were briefed of the situation and told that the school would need to reduce the size of its staff.

The Ministry and school’s board have decided on a method to determine which teachers to let go based on expiring licenses and teachers nearing retirement. Other teachers, who may need to be let go, will be accommodated in finding employment at another school or within the Ministry while a few others will reportedly “leave the system.”

Smith said the union met with officials from the Ministry of Education on Tuesday, when the methodology was explained but said there was no timeline given as to when a full list of recommendation for terminations will be presented.

In the meantime, teachers will continue with classes and will share the workload across the four forms. This will mean that teachers will be responsible for less classes and students than normal due to the imbalance in student-to-teacher ratio. Teachers’ salaries reportedly remain unaffected.

It had originally been reported that there were 17 teachers recommended for termination. Smith says no specific number was ever mentioned in any of the meetings. There are currently little more than 300 students enrolled in the school, half the amount of other government funded high schools in the city.

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