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Feb 28, 2013

ICJ Campaign teaches principals about Referendum

The education process for the Belize/Guatemala Referendum is ongoing and it is expected to take place inside the classroom, at political rallies and at sessions with the business community. Today educators became students as they were presented with a history of the claim. News Five Isani Cayetano attended a session with the Office of the Referendum inside the St. Catherine Auditorium in Belize City.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

As part of an extensive sensitization effort leading up to October sixth, the Office of the Referendum is making its rounds across the country, educating the public on the issue of the unfounded Guatemala Claim, as well as the pros and cons of taking the existing territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.  Today they visited St. Catherine Academy where a presentation was made before an audience of high school principals.

 

Glenn Tillett

Glenn Tillett, Presenter

“I would hope that we can persuade the people who are the managers of our education system at the secondary school level that it is very, very important that the generations to come know our history generally, but particularly the history of the claim and the resulting dispute.”

 

The objective is that awareness at the highest level can create a trickle-down effect where knowledge of the claim, its origin, as well as the potential ramifications of having the matter resolved in court, can be introduced in the curriculum.

 

Brenda Armstrong

Brenda Armstrong, Principal, Wesley College

“I think the presentation was very informative and essentially helps us to get a sense of where we are coming from in order to be able to make an informed judgment and all of us as citizens are asked to vote.  I think that presentation was good because it gave us a sense of what has gone on before what has been the back and forth between England and Guatemala, between us and Guatemala.  And so now where we are, at this present date 2013 that becomes like the backdrop.”

 

According to Glenn Tillett, a presenter, despite exclusion from the voting process, high school students should be educated on this chapter of Belizean history in order to properly promote love of country.

 

Glenn Tillett

“We often hear people decry the lack of patriotism and nationalism among our citizenry.  We have to make the effort to encourage all Belizeans, regardless of age, to be patriots and to be nationalistic and you can only be patriotic and nationalistic if you know the particular history of our country.”

 

It is a sentiment shared by a majority of those in attendance, including Brenda Armstrong of Wesley College.

 

Brenda Armstrong

“I don’t think that we spend enough time doing the Belizean history kind of emphasis, getting our students to know all they need to know.  So at least for 2013 we should ensure that every child in all our schools is exposed to this information.”

 

Today’s gathering was led by Ambassador Stuart Leslie. Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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1 Response for “ICJ Campaign teaches principals about Referendum”

  1. Storm says:

    Schools should be prohibited from taking sides in political elections. If they just taught objective history, they would not need to become propagandists.

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