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Mar 23, 2018

What the Teachers Want (Now)

On Thursday, the teachers protested on Independence Hill following a rally at the civic center and a march through the streets of the Capital City Belmopan. They were championing the safety of women and children, who in recent times have increasingly become victims of violence and sexual abuse. As they did back in 2016, the Belize National Teachers Union ended its rally with a list of demands. National Secretary Ruth Shoman says that the demands are not empty words and should not be ignored by G.O.B.

 

Ruth Shoman

Ruth Shoman, National Secretary, B.N.T.U.

“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 jobs; many a times they are called out and cannot come—no vehicles no gas. More training for teachers so that they can be better equipped to deal with all these horrendous situations that our children have to face. 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. Where are our truancy officers? We need to ensure that age appropriate sex education classes are incorporated as well as conflict resolution in all our schools. We need to ensure that laws are amended; we currently have laws that prohibit proper and efficient collection 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 Food Pantry program. We have seen where sometimes gang leaders are giving out vouchers to people who they select.”

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