BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 18, 2016–In February, Hon. Patrick Faber explained, at a press conference, a process that teachers would have to undergo to ensure that they are qualified and that they remain in possession of a full teaching license. Faber had explained, in making reference to a provisional license that, “if you have not met the requirement for a full license, then we are in effect carving out a special permit for those teachers who meet the requirement for that permit.”
Today, Dr. Carol Babb, Deputy Chief Education Officer, told Amandala that the mandatory permit came into effect with the passing of Statutory Instrument (SI) 13 of 2016, which affects early childhood teachers, primary school teachers and high school teachers. Babb said that the application process has already begun.
Babb explained the criteria for the special license, and the teachers who qualify are as follows:
• Applicants (teachers) who have completed “a minimum 70% of their credit load for the teacher education program they are currently enrolled in.”
• Applicants (teachers) “who had teaching assignments in remote rural areas … and thus had limited access to a recognized teacher educational program from 2011 to 2016.”
• Teachers at the early childhood level.
• Teachers at the secondary level who possess an Associate degree, but have “difficulty furthering their education in their specific field of teaching, hindering them from obtaining a full teaching license.”
• Teachers on study leave whose provisional license has expired.
• Finally, those teachers expected to retire by 2018.
Babb said that a total of 736 applications have been received so far. Those teachers who don’t meet the criteria, Babb said, will be unable to continue in the teaching profession after their provisional license expires. As a result, Babb said, new teachers will be hired to fill the gap and she believes that there are enough qualified teachers to replace those teachers who are unable to continue in the profession.