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Apr 26, 2016

Minister of Education Supports B.N.T.U.’s Stand Up for Belize Campaign

Executives of the Belize National Teachers Union are meeting this week to schedule a date, as well as a venue for a subsequent sensitization forum on the Belize/Guatemala territorial dispute.  A nationwide campaign dubbed Stand Up for Belize was launched on April fifteenth, in Benque Viejo, where hundreds of educators from across the country converged on Mount Carmel High School for the inaugural discussion.  Since then quite a lot has happened, including the shooting death of a Guatemalan minor in the Chiquibul Forest.  While it is expected that these developments will be factored into the upcoming gathering, Minister of Education Patrick Faber lauds the effort by teachers to educate themselves on the issue.  This morning, Faber reiterated that the Belize/Guatemala issue is already part of the primary school curriculum and that the course is presently being revised.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“It is something that I welcome and I will say that in fact we already have this in the curriculum although it does require sharpening.  As we speak, in fact, the primary school curriculum is being re-sharpened, if you will, to have a greater emphasis on the historical aspects of the Belize/Guatemala claim and certainly when it is that our teachers take the kind of position via their union.  This has to be something that’s very welcomed by our Ministry of Education and the larger education system.”


Patrick Faber

Isani Cayetano

“In terms of what has been said, I gather you may have been following the presentation from Benque Viejo two Fridays ago.  What were your initial thoughts when you heard some of the expressions by former Minister Assad Shoman and of course Minister Elrington on this particular matter and the response from the teachers?”


Patrick Faber

“Well there is always the need for more information, you know, and when you hear people who have the kind of history as Doctor Assad Shoman and of course our Foreign Minister too, it is always very enlightening and for our teachers to get this kind of information fresh from those who are very, very integrally involved it’s always a very refreshing thought.  We see that in fact we have made moves on the part of the ministry with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to create materials, if you will, for secondary schools now, as well.  So it’s all a matter of getting everybody singing from the same song sheet and presentations from the Foreign Minister, Doctor Shoman and from others who are very, very involved, you know, I’ve listened to other foreign ministers who are from the opposition chime in from time to time on this topic and it all serves as very useful, in my opinion, and with teachers getting on board in that respect for me it’s very welcomed.  The ministry will do its part, as I’ve said, working with the curriculum at the primary level and also working at the secondary level with those from the Foreign Affairs Ministry to provide materials so teachers can be well versed in making more aware our students at the primary and secondary levels.”

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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