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November 30
10:45 2018
THE REPORTER: News Staff, - 

Normal classes resumed at Mount Carmel RC Primary School in Benque Viejo del Carmen on Monday, following a demonstration on Friday by the 41 teachers on staff at the school. They were protesting the dismissal of a career educator and unpaid salaries to several other teachers.

A meeting with the school’s management and officials from the Teaching Services Commission (TSC) and the Ministry of Education was held following the demonstration on Friday and the matter was mostly resolved, leading teachers to call off the sit-out from classes.


According to Mount Carmel Principal Melvin Manzanero, the most important points of contention were settled during last Friday afternoon’s meeting in Belize City. But he added that the school’s management and the Ministry are scheduled to meet again to finalize the terms of payment for the teachers with outstanding salaries. The demonstration took place in Benque on Friday morning, starting with a brief ceremony at the Mount Carmel school compound followed by a march. The demonstration included participation from all 41 Mount Carmel teachers as well as teachers from La Inmaculada RC School in

Arenal and Holy Cross RC School in Calla Creek with a total of 60 plus teachers.
Manzanero said it was agreed that the teachers would be compensated for the outstanding period of time they have not received their salaries. There has been no date or timeline set, however, for the teachers to receive their outstanding salaries.

Another major point of contention which was resolved was the dismissal of Ana Pech, a teacher at Mount Carmel for the last 29 years. According to Manzanero, Pech’s documents have been received and her retirement has been approved by the Teaching Services Commission. Manzanero said Pech will be re-hired by the school pending the approval of the TSC of her documents, and she will be able to work for the next two years until her retirement. Pech had previously been recommended for termination by the TSC because she had not been approved by the Commission. Pech, however, maintained she had a valid permit to teach and took the matter up with the union.

The Mount Carmel teachers began staging the sit out last Wednesday when their frustration reached a boiling point. The sit out carried on until Friday and was called off following the meeting between the involved parties. Over 960 students, attending the primary school, were affected during the sit out, however, teachers say measures were taken to ensure the students would not be negatively impacted for exam week, which began on Monday.

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