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Jan 15, 2015

Party Launches Education Platform

On the occasion of the ninety-sixth birthday of its deceased leader, the P.U.P. also launched its education platform entitled Education: Creativity plus Technology.  The policy is a call to arms to move away from the staunchly traditional methods of delivering information in the classroom.  The platform encourages a return to curiosity among adolescents and supports the idea of the free thinking student.  The event took place at Independence Hall and News Five’s Isani Cayetano was there.

 

Cordel Hyde

Cordel Hyde, P.U.P. Lake Independence Standard Bearer

“We have ambassadors living in swank Manhattan and London apartments.  We nationalized B.T.L. and B.E.L. and yet we can’t find the money to ensure that every single child in this country attends high school.  We can’t find fifteen hundred dollars in September to send a fifteen-year-old child to high school but we can find five thousand dollars to house that same child at the Belize Central Prison for a year when he goes off the beaten path.”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Preceded by a rousing introduction from Lake-I standard bearer Cordel Hyde, Education: Creativity + Technology was formally introduced today by the People’s United Party.  The platform seeks to merge both keystones to advance education in Belize.

 

Yasser Musa, Educator

“We are teaching too much compliance and not enough democracy.  We are teaching too much control and not enough curiosity.  This is why we come here with a simple proposal, creativity is the key and yes technology is critical but creativity is not simply about coming up with new or big ideas but coming up with real solutions to everyday problems and then applying them to real life situations.  Creativity is behavior, it is an attitude.  It is a goal and it must become our national objective that we must teach to so that it can blanket every part of our educational life.”

 

The launch of the manifesto comes a year after the ushering in of the P.U.P.’s social justice agenda which was introduced on the commemoration of George Price’s ninety-fifth birthday.

 

Yasser Musa

Yasser Musa

“So I just want to share a summary of our framework and the first one is that the students must come first, that we must teach them to be self-directed, autonomous, to stand up and speak for themselves and question authority. We must place special needs as a priority.  That is extremely important and our document fleshes out some of the ideas and we welcome more.  We must make sure that our children don’t go to school hungry.  This is an issue that is kept in the dark but even at the most prestigious of our institutions feeding programs are being set up on the down low.  That should tell you what is happening across this land.”

 

Party leader Francis Fonseca reiterated the PUP’s position on the importance of education, contextualized within the confidence of the party forming the next government.

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Party Leader, P.U.P.

“The People’s United Party believes in education.  We believe that education is the great equalizer.  We believe that education is key to national development and our investments as a nation in education continue to be the most effective poverty alleviation strategy.  Education reform is one of the three central pillars which will form the foundation of the next People’s United Party government.  Our government’s development agenda will have two other important pillars, economic reform and governance reform.”

 

Perhaps the most poignant observation, similar to Hyde’s reflection on financial resources and education is Musa’s opinion on the dying thirst for knowledge.

 

Yasser Musa

“How are we losing this idea about curiosity that our children, our young kids have of wanting to know this, asking questions.  They ask so many questions between the ages of three and nine and then the questions start to fade.  Nothing has changed in their minds it is the compliance and the authority that has shut them down and that is when they start to drift and become disconnected.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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