By Alexis R. Milan Staff Reporter
Several teachers from Maud Williams and Sadie Vernon high schools who were given termination letters have said they feel the terminations to be unfair and are seeking clarification on the methodology used to make those selections.
Many teachers told The Reporter that they have been terminated even though they possess qualifications ranging from Master to Bachelor degrees in education.
One teacher from Maud Williams said her principal told her outright that the methodology used to decide termination was ‘last in, first out,’ while teachers at Sadie Vernon were told to write to the Ministry for clarification.
They also allege that teachers with lesser qualifications were kept on staff and that the method used to decide who would be terminated was not consistent because some teachers who had been on staff for many years were also let go.
The letter they received informed them that their positions were being abolished and that their services were no longer required at the school.
Kathleen Flowers, Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) Belize District President, told The Reporter on Thursday that she was able to confirm that up to eleven teachers were terminated.
Five of the teachers being made redundant are from Maud Williams High School while the other six are from Sadie Vernon High School.
BNTU President Luke Palacio indicated that the union would be writing to the ministry to seek clarification on the methodology used to determine which teachers would be terminated.
Palacio said he expected that letter to be sent by Monday.
Minister of Education Patrick Faber, when asked via text message about the terminations, said (via SMS): “No one was terminated based on qualification, but based on redundancy.”
The move comes about two-weeks after Faber announced at a press conference the ministry’s plan to have Maud Williams, Sadie Vernon and Excelsior High Schools share resources.
At that press conference, Faber also indicated that teachers being made redundant would be put on a temporary pension until they could be employed elsewhere in the education system.
Under the new system, first and second form classes will be conducted at each institution’s main campus, but when students choose different courses as they enter third and fourth forms, some of those classes may need to be provided at facilities from the other two campuses.