Caste War Education project launched at SJC Print E-mail
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Thursday, 11 May 2017 00:00

On Friday, May 5, 2017, the Saint John’s College History Department launched its Caste War Educational project that included an exhibit, website, curriculum, and lesson plan. The project incorporates mixed media to be more approachable to students in this era of learning. The launch focused on the Caste War, an event which shaped the northern districts and their people.

The event included a video which gave an account of the war and the people that came as a result of the war. The video was followed by a prayer and an account of the importance of the war on the indigenous people by Pedro Carrillo who gave his speech only in his Maya language. What followed emphasized the importance of Belizean history on all Belizeans. Most important was the emphasis from Carlos Quiroz, History teacher, Jaylen Young, student, and Yasser Musa, head of SJC History department, that our history need to be taken off shelves and included graphically, visually and audibly. Incorporating African and Mayan histories into the school curriculum presents both the harsh realities of the past and the better hope that is the future.

According to Musa, the school system is feeble as it relates to our approach to history- our resistance, rebellion, and struggle. SJC has launched a free curriculum that is accessible to anyone to download infographics, eBooks, and other material respective to different topics covered by the school. In June 2013, the decision was made by SJC to teach Mayan and African history at the first form level and year by year, the curriculum has increased to where Latin American, Central American, and Caribbean histories have now been incorporated. “How can a war which lasted fifty four years; two hundred and fifty thousand people dying; hundreds of towns destroyed; how can that be erased from our intellectual, social and psychological memory?” The war teaches a myriad of important issues including borders and indeginous slavery.

Musa presented the school with a flashdrive containing 1,145 books but considers it only a symbolic gesture to reach the bridge. It is now up to others to take the initiative to educate themselves. The exhibit was formally opened and included a combination of infrographic learning pieces.