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Mar 20, 2018

B.N.T.U. Heads Back to Belmopan on Budget Debate Day

The B.N.T.U. will take to Belmopan on Thursday to hold a rally in light of the abuse and violence against children and women.  According to President Elena Smith, the B.N.T.U. has written to the Ministry of Education to call off classes on Thursday, but they have not yet received a response. Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb is out of the country and in any case, the B.N.T.U. is moving forward with what they say is a call made by the membership. Aside from a set of demands that will be laid out at the rally, Smith says they want a long-term solution to the problem.

 

Elena Smith

Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“Our teachers then, felt that, as the second mothers to these children, that we had to make a statement as it relates to what has been going on. We are also aware that the Ministry, our management, they too are concerned about what has been happening. So, we wrote to them asking them to support our cause because this is a cause not only for the teachers, but for all of us who are responsible, and our managements have a huge responsibility to our children, to our students. So, we sought their support and we sought the support of the Ministry. We have asked the Ministry to declare Thursday a non-school day. However, we have not received any word from them as it relates to that decision. As we understand it, they are fully supporting our stand and they are aware of what it is that they need to do as a Ministry. This was not something that we, at the head table, said this is what we want. Our teachers asked for this. But what I think makes it different is that within our rally, we have a set of demands that we want to put forth. We are going to be joining with other organizations who are fighting the same fight as we are fighting to see how best we can send lend support to those organizations, to ensure that what it is they are putting out there and what they are asking for, that we will lend a hand in ensuring that those things are put in place. One such example is the Manifesto for Linda that we are going to be endorsing and we are going to be doing our best that those things they are asking for, that they come to fruition. So, our purpose for this is not just for the day of the rally but it is going to be long term. We want long term solution that we are facing right now. We are going to be using our signature green with our logo Teechaz Got Yuh Back. Because, as we said, this one is for the children. This is not about any salary increase, or about any benefits to teachers or any benefits to us as a union. This is for the benefit of our children, our women and to a large extent our nation. We’ve seen what happened over the weekend. We saw where the Ministers have had to juggle and have a Cabinet meeting and they put in place certain band-aid solutions. We don’t want to be looking at any band-aid solutions right now.”

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