Belize National Teachers Union holds rally in Belmopan Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 28 March 2018 00:00

On Thursday of last week, the Belize National Teachers Union BNTU flexed its muscle in Belmopan, bringing out some five hundred teachers with a series of new demands. The march by teachers started from in front of the Belmopan Comprehensive High School and ended at the Belmopan Civic Center where some noted speakers were present.

Among those speakers were Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children, who said she was honored and thankful for being invited.

“…and let me, as a first order of business, thank the Belize National Teachers Union, especially Senator Elena Smith for doing what is required of those on the front line of defense to do. Speak up, for our vulnerable.”

Another notable speaker at the rally was Ruth Shoman, a member of the BNTU executive, who calmly listed the demands.

“So, here are what we are demanding from our Government, counselors must be instituted from primary all the way to tertiary level, now; more social workers available in every district; social workers properly equipped with necessary tools to carry out their job… more training for teachers so that they can be better equipped to deal with all these horrendous situations that our children have to face.”

Her message to truancy officers and others were clear, “We have truancy officers, who have gone invisible. We need to know where they are, we need to ensure that the truancy officers are held accountable for not doing their jobs. We need to ensure that our children are in school …”

Shoman also added, “we need to ensure that age appropriate sex education classes are incorporated, as well as conflict resolution, in all our schools…We currently have laws that prohibit proper and efficient collecting of data in rape cases, which result in the lack of prosecution of these perpetrators…. We need to create a system that will ensure that there is equity in the Boost and Pantry Program…”

Some of the teachers carried signs last Thursday expressing concerns on the recent crimes against women and children. Such violence against our society’s most vulnerable have riled our teachers.