Dangriga, March 1st 2016
Teaching is a demanding job that requires comprehensive knowledge of subject content, age-specific education, and many varied skills such as patience, leadership, and creativity, just to name a few. Preschool children learn mainly through play and interactive activities. Preschool teachers capitalize on children’s play to further language and vocabulary development using storytelling, rhyming games, and acting games. To improve social skills teachers have the task of getting the children to work together on various projects and introduce scientific and mathematical concepts, such as showing the children how to balance and count blocks or how to mix colors when painting. Contrary to popular belief, teachers dowork!
There are some of us who ascribe to this myth that teachers are babysitters. Teachers for the most part are partially responsible for educating our future leaders – the children. Because after all, in the words of the old African proverb, it takes a village to raise a child. That was more evident today as hundreds of pre-school aged children,kindergarteners, parents and teachers took to the streets in a parade for the start of Child Stimulation Month 2016. For the past 20 plus years, parents, teachers and children have assembled and participated in celebrating the month long activities. The event is being held and organized by the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports through the early childhood Unit under the theme “Early Childhood Development – The Foundation to a Brighter Belize.
The Guardian spoke to the Honorable Frank “Papa” Mena who said, “Education is the key to improve our nation and the teachers are very much aware of this. That is why we are seeing more doctors, lawyers and other people who are contributing positivity to our society. It’s because of these same teachers who are starting with our children at this early stage, that’s why we are seeing positive things come out of this.”
The parade consisting of over 15 colorfully decorated floats filled with the young smiling faces rolled off from the Drums of Our Fathers’ Monument at around 9:15 this morning and ended at the BTL Princess Royal Park some 45 minutes later. The floats depicted ethnic groups, community helpers, colors, shapes numbers and several other themes.
Mrs. Phidelia Castillo the principal of Benguche Community Preschool said “This is important for awareness in early childhood education and it’s important for parents to understand that a two year program is way better than a one year program for the children.” Mrs. Castillo continued by saying, “As stakeholders in education, let’s continue to instill values in our children. With that comes respect for self and others; but most of all, to our parents and the community at large, love for our creator, our parents and our peers. Children live what they learn, so let’s be a positive example to them. To God be the Glory.” Ms. Sylvia Sabal, the principal of Sittee River Methodist, also shared similar sentiments. She said, “Children are doing more at preschool and it’s very important for parents to recognize that they do need to get them in early where they can be exposed to more child centered activities in and out of the classroom.”
For their participation, the children were awarded party bags loaded with goodies and toys. Some appearing tired but most were obviously still filled with excitement from the ride and the special attention they received from parents, family members and of course their teachers.