A decision on his future is expected in 15 days
A meeting was held at the Toledo District Education Center yesterday morning between instructors from the local Institute for Technical, Vocational and Educational Training (ITVET); the Belize National Teachers’ Union president, Luke Palacio; the Toledo ITVET’s Board of Governance; and embattled school manager Allen Genus in an effort to reach a solution to a rift among the school’s administration and some members of the faculty regarding Genus’ management style.
Last Monday, May 19, a press release was issued containing a petition signed by at least 8 Toledo ITVET instructors, which essentially declared that Genus was being asked to step down from his position at the institution following a vote of “no confidence” by a number of the members of staff.
The meeting yesterday also featured Genus’ agent, attorney Oscar Selgado, and two observers from the Ministry of Education; however, a stalemate resulted after the parties were unable to ascertain whether the school manager – who was appointed through the Public Service to his position in 2007 – is governed by Public Service regulations or by any of the Education acts or laws, which is critical in order to determine whether the board actually has any authority over the proposed removal of Genus.
Today, Amandala contacted Michael Vernon, the spokesperson for the Toledo ITVET instructors, who told us that they are adhering to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education and allowing the investigation to go through its due process.
Vernon stated that they are simply asking for the proper documentation regarding the employment of Mr. Genus so that a determination can be made to get the matter resolved, more than likely, by transferring Genus to another department within the Public Service.
According to the spokesperson, their mission is “nothing personal”, but is to ensure that the school’s students can be provided with a quality education under a holistic form of governance.
“At the end of the day, the instructors just want to get this situation out of the way and move along”, Vernon declared, adding that the investigation will proceed following the Ministry’s decision on the status of Genus’ employment, which is anticipated to be governed by the Public Service Commission’s Handbook.
The school’s Board of Directors has prepared a letter in which an official request will be made to the Ministry of Education for a determination as to the status of Mr. Genus – a decision which is expected within the next 15 days.
In the meantime, we understand that the instructors are reporting to work as usual to meet the needs of the trainees and await a timely response from the Board and the Ministry of Education to move the rest of the process forward.