Salaries aside, there is another issue that teachers are confronting. It has to do with licenses, which come 2016 will be mandatory. Those who have not obtained a valid teacher’s license stand to lose their teaching jobs. It is a requirement under the Education and Training Act and B.N.T.U. President, Luke Palacio, says that the union has been encouraging teachers to get up to mark.
Luke Palacio, National President, B.N.T.U.
“The B.N.T.U. in particular has never been against teachers improving themselves and getting the qualifications necessary. As long as those facilities exist for them to access, we encourage our teachers to do so. And the teachers were told from 2011, after the education and training act came into being, the teaching services commission in early 2011 came into existence, we knew that teachers needed to ensure that they would get a full license within five years after obtaining a provisional license. A provisional license basically means that the teacher does not have the teacher training; we use the word pedagogy to describe that. If they don’t have the teacher training, then they were supposed to work towards that within the five year period or within any five year period since they would have gotten their license. So basically what is happening now, teachers who got a provisional license before 2011, then they had this five year period to work towards that. So we are basically reminding them that this is something they need to do. Now of course is teachers are enrolled in a teacher education program and because of how they are enrolled in terms of whether they are full time or part time, then we will have to say to the ministry, look this teacher is making an effort and we want them to consider that. But if indeed the teachers have just decided, well I just noh care, I will wait and see and when the time come, the union wah fight for me. We’ve said to them that it won’t work like that.”
There is a window for teachers who are in the process of getting trained for their license. These teachers will be granted a two-year period to complete their training.