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Jun 9, 2011

Parent doesn’t want donation, just time to pay his daughter’s school fees

Summer is on the horizon and most students are looking forward to putting away school bags and books before enjoying their annual fun in the sun. But there is a parent who is worrying that his children may not be able to return to class for the new school year. Teodore Chen has two children attending a local church-state school. His son is in primary school while his daughter is in preschool. Chen, a relief firefighter, earns an honest though meager living.  After coming off his shift at eight this morning he had to remove his daughter from class because he owes money to the school.  Chen does not want donations or pity, what he wants is more time to for him to pay the school debt.

Teodore Chen, Removed daughter from school

“I have an outstanding bill at the preschool. So I make it my interest to go to the principal to explain that yes when I get paid, I noh get paid right away—sometimes like one week or two weeks later. So I told her that I came in to make an arrangement. Graduation is the twenty-fifth of this month, rent di come up end of month right here so. And then money weh di come, I have to pay food bill dah di shop weh I borrow. And when I get paid, I don’t get paid right away and I still have to go handle the credit and I know I have outstanding bills. So I try and explain to her. I set out a plan where I said listen to me ma’am, I di go through some financial crisis, yes I di work but di lee money weh I di make sometimes I noh get paid right away. I want you understand my situation, if I can’t meet the total bill, but I can pay for the graduation bill weh dah thirty-five dollars because I wah have to rent then. And I no di mek more than five hundred dollars. I only make like four oh seven($407), sometimes four twenty-seven ($427) as a relief firefighter. And even reach to extent as floaters—dah so they call us. When I explain to her that I can meet this bill early in July, she tell me well they done make a decision; that they had a meeting and that it stands that way and make I think about it—make I go home and think about it. I said miss I have a plan and I would want you to listen to it. And she said, they done talk about it and that’s it. So ih di try tell me now that my kid no longer needed in there. So I tell ahn well ma’am, ih look like you noh wah listen to me so I think best I have to take my kid because then I di try explain myself how best I can pay my bill. Then she tell me listen, if you know that wa job noh di pay you in time, then find another job. I tell ahn miss out here find another job.”

Jose Sanchez

Teodore Chen

“So essentially you are saying you had to take your child out of school because you couldn’t finish pay the bill?”

Teodore Chen

“I had to take her out because I tell her ih look like this dah the only alternative solution I have to come up with now because I di try come and explain myself to you and how I could meet up the bills and how I could pay.”

Jose Sanchez

“Have you thought about approaching the ministry of education tos eek some sort of scholarship they can assist with?”

Teodore Chen

“To be honest I don’t believe that I have to reach that level. I believe that at a managerial level where the principal is…”

Jose Sanchez

“So you are saying you can pay your bill but u just need time?”

Teodore Chen

“Exactly. I believe she could have reasoned with me.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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30 Responses for “Parent doesn’t want donation, just time to pay his daughter’s school fees”

  1. student_17 says:

    Proud of you!!
    Education is the Key to success, and its getting more expensive every where same with me, my school bills are going up little by little for fees that we never had before, so i am thinking of changing from school this coming year ..

    i Bet that we are not the only ones passing through this..

  2. I Have Awaken says:

    Why is school/education NOT FREE again, in this country? How are we suppose to have a hope and chance in hell, as a country and people, if we can’t provide FREE education for our children?

  3. BZNinCALI says:

    While I believe that preschool is good for a child’s development, it is often not free & it may be necessary for us as parents to teach them what we can at home if we cannot afford the tuition. The school’s administration may seem heartless but there was no mention of them asking him to remove his older child so my gut says they have tried to work with him. Mr, Chen, times are tough everywhere, the staff member

    was not subtle, she could have been more diplomatic but that would not change the answer. ,

  4. Elgin Martinez says:

    Most of these people that are appointed as managers for some of these institutions need to learn some public relationship training.Some of them are not even approachable and think that they can tell people whatever come to their mouth.Why can’t some kind of provision be made to ensure that this little girl keep going to school.Shame on the management Staff at this institution.Is this all we as Belizeans can do exploit our own people.

  5. Rod says:

    Don’t worry mr Chen I will pay your daughters school fees just post on here your address and I will personally help you pay your daughters school fees like I have said this pm and gov. Are prejudice against Spanish people if you were black the minister of education would help you but because you are Spanish you are out of luck I know that a lot of people who post on this site would be willing to help you post your bank on here I will help you don’t bother with this pm and his gov. They are prejudice against the Spanish.

  6. Clifford says:

    Understand your situation dude, time is tough, job is scarce, can’t see why people sometimes don’t have understanding, regardless of who they are or how educated they claim to be, still they wouldn’t understand and have pity on people. Respect you and your job dude. Hope best comes sooner for you!

  7. Victoria says:

    This is an honest man who wants to do the right thing and there is a Principal who has lost all principle which boils down again to GREED, we mimick so many foreign country that we forget how to be humble

  8. Justice says:

    If he is willing to pay rather than begging for others to pay, why not show some humanity?

  9. OG_Rick says:

    This is so sad….. I support the ideas that education should be free or at least accessible to everyone on every level and class…. its so true that each year education expenses are increasing…. I for one can attest to it with the school fees that I was paying just a year ago when I was at SJCJC…. I had to work to partially cover the expenses and even then, all that I had worked for the entire summer I had to use to pay my tuition….. when will we move forward instead of backwards like crabs….. GOB needs to invest some serious time and effort and put its best heads together help move or country forward….. REGARDLESS of which color is in power!

  10. Orange Walk says:

    This is a true example of a hard working man. he has an honest job, willing to even go to the extent to ask for just a little more time to pay his bill, not ask for hand out and a self righteous individual will tell him to go find another job? how hard does you heart have to be for you to not even listen to this man and try to understand his situation.?

  11. Disappointed says:

    Very sad, unfortunately the whole world have become cold and heartless. The Belizean people does not seem to realize that the most important thing is to educate your future and our children is our future. When we get old these are the people that will be making decisions for our country if all we show them is greed and hard hearts then that is what they will show us when we really need care and compassion. Belize people wake up, get a heart, try to think of someone else sometimes, trust me it feels so good to help someone else. Where have the LOVE gone?????

  12. Islander says:

    I got tears in my eyes, i just love how this gentleman does not want a handout despite him going through tough times.

    THIS ARE REAL MEN, not those douchebags who come on TV talking about how the Police Chance them and their granny.

    I am so proud. Channel 5 I know you guys read posts before putting them on for bad words and such, please contact me via my e-mail so I could see if I can help this man. I know he does not want a handout but if he wants to call it a loan then so be it I am willing to loan him the money or better yet just give it to him as a gift for his child.

  13. Bea Bender says:

    Primary/secondary public education should be free! Now private education should have some type of scholarship that can assist the parents when they fall on hard times. When I was in school, I was a recipient of one (work study scholarship). I can tell you that without that I wouldn’t been able to graduate from highschool and be where I am now.
    Education is the foundation, with education you improve the quality of life.
    This guy is amazing! He doesn’t want a handout, he just wants time!! I admire him, what courage!!

  14. in NC says:

    I give you respect Mr. chen.
    So humble and doing the right thing, that principal should learn honesty from him.
    People like Mr.Chen are the people that build Belize with honesty and integrity.

    He works hard and not for himself or his family! the dude is a fire fighter, he serve the country.
    He is an example to his kids, his kids and kids kids will do they same and that how you build a country. slowly but surely and not full of pride and greed!

    Love you all my people, let’s love each other.

  15. DT says:

    Eductation should be free up to Secondary level. If it is mandatory by law, it should be free for all.

    Won’t happen though, as successive governments want to keep the poor majority uneducated, only pushing through the children of ‘First Belizeans’ to kepp them in power.

    Belize will never, ever develop while we have these crooks in charge – PUP & UDP.

    God help us!

  16. cg says:

    Channel 5, we need to teach our educators some humility…find out who this bogus principal and follow up this story. this is not right! There must be a lot of people going through this experience. Who is she to tell anyone, “get another job”..what’s wrong with her!….i swear teachers are more facey than anything else these days. hard to find good ones

  17. listening says:

    This is a rather vague report. It states a couple good reports of Mr. Chen, but we have no idea how long the school has tried to work with him in clearing up the account. The sad thing is that a young child may be out of school. The other side of it, she may even be better off at this young formative age to be influenced and taught by a loving mother than an institution.

  18. ruby says:

    Lets look at many years behind , education wasn’t as expensive as now! You have to pay school fees yet donate to schools when they need things….What if you have 4,5 children ..

    I just dont understand why our Minister of Education don’t screen each school in all our surrounding districts……..It seems only those who have money can survive now even in education… now you where the crime and violence comes from…..
    Look art sacred heart school in san Ignacio, how much fees it has been increase, yet they put in a new thing with music something that children arn’t benefiting from but themselves…..I always say what if the child is not musical incline, parents are just wasting their money feeding and making the teacher and foreinger get richer …..

  19. ruby says:

    Lets look at many years behind , education wasn’t as expensive as now! You have to pay school fees yet donate to schools when they need things….What if you have 4,5 children ..

    I just dont understand why our Minister of Education don’t screen each school in all our surrounding districts……..It seems only those who have money can survive now even in education… now you where the crime and violence comes from…..
    Look art sacred heart school in san Ignacio, how much fees it has been increase, yet they put in a new thing with music something that children arn’t benefiting from but themselves…..I always say what if the child is not musical incline, parents are just wasting their money feeding and making the teacher and chines get richer ….. Minster please help the poor people out here we parents cannot protest because the children will suffer .
    MUSIC MUST BE SOMETHING YOU WANT NOT SOMETHING YOU HAVE TO …. i HAVE SEEN WHERE THE MONEY OF RAGS AND MUSIC GOES IT GOES IN GROCERY BILLS…..YES IVE SEEN IT …PLEASE TAKE A LOOK INTO THIS MATTER FOR THE SAKE OF MANY CHILDREN WHO CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY ….HELP US SIR WE BELIEVE IN YOU THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THAT WE CAN SAY SOMETHING ……YES…U KNOW EVERY PARENT HAVE TO GIVE ABOUT FIVE ITEMS FOR THE CLASS IMAGINE AND YET THEY ARE PAYING SCHOOL FEE…
    ALSO THE BATHROOM IS IN A RECK , KIDS TALK ABOUT IT NOT BEING SUITABLE AND PLEASING TO USE …CHECK THAT OUT TOOO..THIS NAN SENSE MUST STOP SIR!
    i KNOW YOU ARE RIGHTIOUS PERSON AND WILL MAKE THINGS RIGHT ,I KNOW U CARE FOR THE CHILDREN AND DONT WANT THEM TO BE OUT OF SCHOOL ..THANK YOU

  20. Arturo Betancourt says:

    Oh poor Mr. Chen. He’s been behind on his tuition for months and didn’t bother to do anything about it until the school had to ask for their money. Just like anything else, it takes funding to run a school, and stories about bills and late pay are nothing new. Frankly some people shouldn’t keep making babies they cannot support. If he told me that his job didn’t pay enough I too would wonder why he hasn’t found something else.
    And oh, now he’s drug his innocent child through the embarrassment of publicizing his failure to manage his affairs and it is now documented forever.
    Simpletons playing house be are a huge problem in this country.

  21. ruby says:

    seems like teacher are teasing because of no alternative , for money …
    and the disappointment is too much younger teacher who don’t take things serious……..all they think is more pay and nothing else
    guess too sad all the old teaches with experience and feeling for the children no longer exist…

    they were the ones who cared for the children……..

  22. True Belizean says:

    Why don’t they just give the man some time???? :( ((

  23. OriginalWoman says:

    @ Arturo Betancourt YOU ARE THE SIMPLETON!!!!…..This man’s child will be very proud of him if he hears about this story……and the child WILL get her education….Thank God for ppl who are willing to help, wether he likes it or not, he will be blessed with the tuition money and his child will return to school….People LIKE YOU only make bad situations more difficult…Just Like The THUGS on the street, you are doing the same thing only differently!!!

  24. CLEANHEART says:

    THE WAY IT SOUND THEY HAVE ALREADY GIVEN HIM ENOUGH TIME TO PAY, MAYBE HE NEED TO STOP HAVE TOO MUCH CHILDREN HE CANT AFFORD.

    NEVERTHELESS I HOPE THE SCHOOL GIVE HIM A BREAK.
    HOWEVER THERE ARE TIMES I AM SHOCK WHEN PEOPLE CAN’T PROVIDE FOR THEIR CHILDREN BUT HAVE MONEY TO BUY LIQUOR, JEWELERY, DRESS TO KILL FOR EVERY OCCASION, YET MOST OF THE TIME WHEN IT COMES TO EDUCATION AND HEALTH THEY ALWAYS COMPLAIN.

  25. David says:

    Our leaders are boasting about oil production ….give this hard working man a raise if things are so good…

  26. james says:

    Am proud of you Mr. Chen.
    Earning an honest living. Primary school should be free to all school country wide. PM is boasting oil and related stuff but failing to look at the basic of foundation of education.

  27. Mad at all the crime says:

    @ Arturo Betancourt You are the SIMPLETON! And i wouldn’t be amazed if you are a teacher beccause you scumbags are the type of people we have “educating” our youths.

    You have probably never worked hard a day in your life for the money you have hence you are clueless as to what it is to experience “hard times” . Hats off to Mr.Chen for being humble and honest.

  28. give the man a break says:

    It’s true what some are saying maybe this person was late in approaching the principal with his issue but to me he does no one good in removing his child from school, unless he plans to home school which there is nothing wrong with it.
    There are cases when a parent can’t pay the school fees they can approach the principal and offer themselves to chop the lawn or help in someway to pay for his fees with labor.It’s justa matter of communication.

    The principal that I found completely wrong was the teenager that was denied marching with her classmates on her graduation day and recieving her diploma.The principal said whatever she wanted to say be it for which ever reason that’s pure Bull$%#@. Honestly she wants ppl to think that she is so strict at school for reenforcing rules about missing practice come on mein.Where is you education gone to ???
    Everyone makes excemptions even the ministers now you mean to say you discipline your students like this. You should be ashamed !!!!

  29. student_17 says:

    how can we Help..

    please let us know … we need to change our education and some of the administrations in our schools they are just there because they are getting payed not because of loving to work with children… how many of you teachers where appointed because of politics and religion and not of your education.. many educated teachers out there with primary ed and other educational fields and they don’t have a class to teach..

    people please lets pressure our educational management of this country to make this change we have the last word.. i am a student and there are classes where i don’t learn anything…. all they talk about is this new gadgets and money.. i am studying computers studies and i know that is the way to go.. but we need to reevaluate our teachers.. there are lots of good teachers out there.. i know it cause i have lots and i have some who waist my time and my parents money…

    why don’t any of this media do a survey or research of how many teachers qualify to be teachers and how many students cant afford school because of the high prices.. and the new charges added every semester… WHY WHY!!!!

  30. ReVoLuTiOn says:

    I’m proud of you Mr Chen for trying to give your children an education. I am a struggling student myself so i can identify. Don’t give up. @ Rod…you don’t need to make speculations with regards to racist treatment because whether our leaders are spanish or black the same rule may apply at times. Spanish only wanna help spanish or blacks help blacks. Do you know if the principal isnt also hispanic? We need to stop this foolishness because we are all human beings.

    Also, we as Belizeans…we sit and complain about what the Gov’t is doing or not doing…when will be get up and start making demands on them? When is the starting point? Do we take up the challenge and see it to its end or just stay here and keep blogging and bashing one another?

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