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Jun 1, 2018

Students Paying Attention to I.C.J. Debate

Yasser Musa

The unfounded Guatemalan claim to Belize is the subject of much discussion, but how much of it will take place in our schools? It was noted during this morning’s presentation that Belize had never given much thought to teaching the issue in schools the way Guatemala has, and with the April tenth, 2019 referendum looming, it would be a case of too little, too late. But that doesn’t mean the students aren’t talking. Yasser Musa spoke about a debate on the topic recently held at Saint John’s College.

 

Yasser Musa, Teacher, St. John’s College

“On Wednesday, S.J.C. held a debate on the I.C.J. Half the students on the team were a yes to go to the court; half were an emphatic no. to us, we didn’t look at it as a controversy or a sensitive thing; we looked at it as a real thing, where students must be given the opportunity to express their ideas. Whether we like it or not, that’s not for me to decide what the students were thinking. But we presented it and it was a dynamic debate, there were five hundred students in the room; you could hear a pin drop in terms of the attention. And what was even more powerful: at the end of the debate, there was a line of students standing up to ask questions, hard questions. So that’s the way we have to do it. We can’t be saying, it’s too sensitive, we have to confront it. That’s what education is: to confront what we want and what we want to solve.”

 

As part of the national education campaign, representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Referendum Unit have visited some schools to present Belize’s strategy.

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