Patrick Jason Faber (born 21 March 1978) is a Belizean politician. He is currently serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of Belize and Deputy leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) since 7 June 2016. He is also serving as the Minister of Education (Science and Technology) since 11 February 2008 and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports since 12 March 2012.
Early life and education[change | change source]
Patrick Jason Faber was born on 21 March 1978 in Belize City, then known as the British Honduras. It is still unknown which school Faber studied for his Primary education and his Secondary education. In 1998, when Faber was 20 years old, Faber’s parents recommended him to continue his university education abroad, specifically to the United States and so he travllled there to study. He enrolled In Valdosta State University located in Valdosta, Georgia shortly after he arrived to the United States. In Valdosta State University, there were many coarses that Faber could take there. After some analysis on the coarses there. He decided to persue Economics. At the end of 1998, during recognition day on the last day for Valdosta State University, Faber recieved Bachelor of Arts In Economics for the outstanding effort he imported in his Economic studies that year. Faber spent two years in the University from 1998 to 2000. After two years in there, Faber decided to enrol in another university in the United States, he choose to enrol in University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida. In University of North Florida, Faber decided to pick the leadership coarse as he wanted to know more about leadership. He spent three years studying in that University from 2000 to 2003. At his last day at University in 2003 on Reconition Day was given his Master's degree in Educational Leadership for demonstrating outstanding and impressive leadership qualities during his time in University of North Florida and also doing exceptionally well in his leadership coarse from 2000 to 2003. When Faber was abroad studying, his parents would often visit him to check on his progress academically In United States.
Political career[change | change source]
Faber first joined the UDP in 1992 when he was 14 years old. In 1992, was appointed street campaigner by then UDP leader, Manuel Esquivel and served in that position for 6 years until 1998. Faber officially joined Belizean electoral politics in 1993 after he submitted his Nomination to contest Belize City as a UDP Councillor Candidate. After a campaigned with nothing much to offer, the Belize City slate along with Faber lost the 1993 Belizean municipal elections. Unsuccessful in his bid for City Councillor, Faber wanted to make a political comeback and so he submitted his Nominations to contest the UDP Standered-Bareer convention in Collet constituency against mentor Faith Babb gaining final revenge on him. Faber collected 948 votes to Babb’s 944 votes. Following his win, Faber prepared himself to face People’s United Party (PUP) Stalwart, Remijio Montejo and Independent Candidate, Paul Jones in the following general election. Faber campaigned heavily and focused on a lame-duck Budget, lack of educated Belizeans and Corporation woes. He manage to convinced his constituents to vote for him and after a determined Campaign, they did. In the 2003 Belizean general election, Faber won 948 votes and 50.1% and defeated both incumbent, Montejo and Jones sending them into retirement. Momtejo secured 889 votes and 46.99% of the vote while Jones collected 55 votes and 2.9% of the vote. Although, Faber won his division handsomely. The UDP still lost the election and was once again send into Opposition. However, this time they had a majority to form a Shadow cabinet headed by Leader of the Opposition, Dean Barrow. Barrow appointed Faber as Shadow Minister of Education (Science and Technology). He served in that position from 6 March 2003 to 8 February 2008, after the UDP won the election. As a Shadow Minister, Faber often argued with Education Minister, Francis Fonseca on education policies for the Country. He also accused Fonseca of “unable to do his job properly as the Minister of Education and that he should be fired from the Cabinet”. Faber’s name became publicly known in March 2005 during the Unrest surrounding the Musa administration Budget, Public utilities and Corporation woes. In 2006, Faber campaigned heavily for the UDP in the Municipal elections and delivered collet once again. He sought to present the PUP as heartless, corrupt, greedy and incapable of responsibility. All those words, surged the UDP into a landslide victory in the Election. On 29 November 2007, Faber appeared in a interview alongside Area Rep for Mesopotamia constituency, Michael Finnegan. Both of them criticised the Musa Government in which Barrow wanted Finnegan to be the next Minister of Police and the Army. The PUP used that Interview and sharply criticised Finnegan and other UDP Shadow Ministers as “no team, no talent”. In September 2007, Faber was endorsed once again as UDP Standered-Bareer for Collet constituency. Faber was in for a 3-way race again facing PUP Chariman, Carolyn Trench-Sandiford and Patrick Rogers of the newly formed Vision Inspired by the People (VIP). Both Faber and Sandiford were now considered Stalwards so it was harder for Faber to convince his people for a second term. Nevertheless, Faber campaigned this time alongside Finnegan, Barrow and Shadow Minister of Public Service, John Saldivar. Together the UDP won Collet and a landslide victory in the 2008 election. Surprisingly, Faber won 1,596 votes and 57.26% of the vote, a even more handsome victory than 2003. Sandiford won 1,008 votes and 39.05% while Rogers garnered 77 ballots and 2.76%. Following the UDP landslide, Faber was selected as Minister of Education (Science and Technology) by Prime minister, Barrow. On 27 January 2009, in a meeting of the House of Representatives (Belize), Faber crtizised Opposition Leader, Johnny Briceño in regards to the Environmental protection act. Faber said that the comments made by Briceño were “bordering and ridiculous”. He also said that the Government understands that Businesses has to pay for collection of their garbage and some private businesses however Small they are taking matters into their own hands and not going contrary to the Law. Going into the 2009 municipal elections, Faber assisted Belize City Mayor, Zenaida Moya in campaigning in her bid for re-election. With a well-fought campaign, the UDP municipal slate won the City. On 16 May 2009, Faber participated in a Dancing Event in his division. Several Youths attended and it was a blast. In 2009, Faber was appointed as Youth Director and President of the YPF. On 1 September 2010, UDP Chairman, Doug Singh resigned after serving in that Position 10 years. This triggered a convention within the Party which was scheduled on 1 August 2010. Both Faber and Saldivar submitted their Nominations to contest the position. Singh’s successor at the end of the count would turn to be Faber. He won with a whopping 422 votes over 122 votes for Saldivar. He was elected overwhelmingly to the Role of Party chairman. This was the first time the two counterparts are Facing off, but it’s certainly not the last. For the victorious Faber, he was expecting the Victory, only not by that overwhelming margin. Faber said that to ensure Victory he has to take Initiative but he denies that it included manipulation.
Faber is currently one of the youngest members of the House of Representatives (Belize) and the Cabinet of Barrow. According to Belizean Media, public confidence in Faber, the Ministry of Education and it’s restructuring has been positive. Consequently, Sir Colville Young, the Governor-General of Belize, entrusted Faber with also running the Ministry of Youth. Faber has even served occasionally as acting Prime minister, being responsible for running the Affairs of State when Barrow was out of the Country.
On 17 December 2010, there were rumours spread like Wildfire that Faber had resigned as UDP Party chairman. According to the Grapevine the fictional Resignation of Faber was caused by the Weekend Convention (meeting) in the Orange Walk East Constituency. Faber and Deputy prime minister, Gaspar Vega, had a Conflict over a Voter who Vega wanted removed form the List. He matter went all the way to Cabinet Caucus on Tuesday from where Faber reportedly left in a huff. Rumor, myth and Gossip aside, Government as well as Political sources who have suspended relations with Channel Five, have confirmed that the only Fact is that the Rumor was just a Rumor. We have contacted the Minister of Education to comment, but as you know he is not allowed to Speak to this Media house because of a decree issued by Barrow. But for now, we can say that Faber is still the Party chairman.
On 14 January 2011, the Teaching services commission held it’s Swearing-in ceremony of a twelve-member group. Faber attended the Ceremony and was interviewed my Channel Five’s Isani Cayetano about his thoughts. Faber said that in February 2010 he passed the Education and Training Act providing for the establishment of the Teaching services commission . Since them much work has gone In to revising sections of existing Education rules relevant to the establishment of the Belize Teaching Service Commission so as to be alignment with the new Education and Training Act 2010. Shortly, it expect to Sign a statutory Instrument that will align such relevant sections of the Education rules so as to operationalize and facilitate the Work of the Teaching Service Commisison. And among the tasks of the new Authority is bringing an end to Corporal punishment. Notwithstanding the reluctance of B.N.T.U to terminate Corporal punishment from classrooms the Ministry of Education forged ahead with its Objective (optics) to improve the overall Quality of Education. The Constitution Of the Panel, says Faber, will aid in raising the bar for Teachersat all levels. Up until a Year ago sixty percent of all Primary school Teachers were not adequately trained, a Problem which reflected the Poor hiring practices of School Management. Faber also said that with the broad based Composition of the Teaching Services Commission to Administer the regulations pertaining to the Teaching services Efficiency, Transparency and increase Trust and confidence in the Management of the System would be derived to the benefit Of all concerned. Certainly the establishment of the Teaching Services Commission seeks to Safeguard the Interest of all Stakeholders by raising the Status of Teachers and simultaneously increasing Public confidence in the Teaching services of this Country. Also taking place that Morning was the signing of two memoranda of understanding for the merger of Hope Creek Methodist and Government schools to be managed by the Methodist Mission. St Agnes Anglican School in Mahagony Heights also unites with La Democracia Government School to fall under Anglican management.
On 21 January 2011, Faber announced hat the World Heritage Site Commission will assess the Belize Barrier Reef at the Installation (computer programs) of the members of the Commission. The Commission has until the end of the Month to report on the Status of the Barrier reef as a World Heritage Site and to Show that activities that put at Risk fragile Ecosystem will cease. Faber said that if he can assure UNESCO in the Discussions, through the manner that Secretary General of UNESCO, David Brown (Belize) has outlined, saying to UNESCO that there are procedures in this Country and these People who have been granted Confessions (album) may well not be able to proceed if it finds out that there are Threats to the Environment of Belize then that’s a no to those People. Not because it has a concession, in other words, it will be able to proceed in this kind of Exploration and drilling. He also said that the Commission tasked with the responsibility of tackling the his and other Issues is a motley Crew of professionals; from the Chief Librarian and the Director of the Women’s Department to the Associate Director of the Institute of Archaelogy and a Lecturer of Science and Technology at the University of Belize. He added that the National Commission for UNESCO is a Representative Body so that there is Representation (politics) from various Stakeholders on all of these Issues. It will be appointing that Morning, he believe, the Technical committee members. There are five technical comimittiees and these committees will be chaired by persons who are on the National commission but once they are free to go out and to co-opt other People in the Community to Work on their Commission. Outgoing members as well as those returning were also Recognise for their Accomplishments last year with Certificates of Participation. The fate of the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System now lies in the hands of the newly inaugurated Commission.
On 3 February 2011, the Ministry of Education wanted to change the dismal Statistics of at least seventy percent of Teachers of Children in their Formative Years are not suitably qualified for early Education. Therefore, it organised the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation (COBEC) to discuss the Development of Education System and educational Opportunities for Belizean Teachers to go abroad for Training. It’s the first of two Meetingsfor the Year, during which a memorandum of understanding were signed, which provides for Scholarships at the Gainesville University in Georgia (U.S. state). Faber noted that in 2011 they were focusing on Cooperation and Partnerships in areas that are not Necessarily limited to Education. They will hear them speak that Year about Sports and about cultural Collaboration. In fact on the Agenda over the next two Days will be Presentations made by these other Stakeholders in the Belizean Society so it should prove to be a very exciting two Day Conference. One of the Highlights in the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Education and Gainesville State College from Georgia (U.S. state). Faber also noted that they were assisting them with training of its early Childhood Educators. There is a serious void of trained Teachers in the Education System in this Area and it said to Gainesville, Florida to help them with this. They have agreed to give the Ministry of Education Scholarships to Gainesville State College. In any given Year it can send four and the number should not exceed twenty at any Time and these People will be trained in the Mechanisms, Strategies of early Childhood EducationAnd then come back and Help them to train more of the Teachers who are there. Faber uphold the Fact that it was very important that the Ministry put its strong Teachers at the start of the Education journey for Children and that was what it was hoping to do. It have in excess of seventy-percent of the Teachers who are teaching in Preschools and early Childhood Centres across the Country and even in lower Infant Schools at the primary Level who are untrained. And it’s saying that is simply not acceptable. According to Faber, training early Childhood Educators is expected to curb the Rate of Students who perform Poorly and drop out in the latter Years of Primary school.
On 31 March 2011, Twenty-nine Cadets received care Packages from a United States National who had earlier conducted a Health Clinic for them. Stephanie Sweet was touched by the lack of personal items during her first visit.