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Jul 18, 2019

Educator Loses Life on Philip Goldson Highway

Roderick Elijio

Long time educator and staff member of the Institute of Technical and Vocational Training died in the early hours of this morning.  Roderick Elijio was found dead inside his crashed vehicle along the Philip Goldson Highway. Elijio was driving through Gardenia Village, heading towards to Belize City, when he ran off the road and crashed. While Elijio’s death is being investigated as a road traffic accident, the circumstances under which he died are not yet known. Reporter Andrea Polanco was following the story today and tells us more in the following report.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Veteran educator Roderick Elijio Senior is dead. The fifty-seven-year-old ITVET instructor was driving a truck around miles twenty-one-and-a-half along the Philip Goldson Highway sometime after two this morning when the vehicle ran off the road and slammed into some trees. Elijio was discovered dead inside. The news of the instructor’s sudden death has left his colleagues shaken. Today we spoke with manager of the ITVET in Belize City, Denroy Tillett.

 

Denroy Tillett, Manager, ITVET-Belize City

“With the loss of him as a person for the staff itself, I can tell you we have a staff WhatsApp chat and all the messages that have been placed by individual instructors and support staff members are all that of feeling for the loss. Some of them, I know, were definitely in tears. As what some other staff members had mentioned, they called in crying and pointing out the shock of it all. As I got here this morning, as I opened the car door one of the staff members told me and it was indeed a shock.”

 

Up to the time of his death, Elijio was the building construction instructor for the prevocational programme at the ITVET in Belize City. But his work in the education system spans over twenty years.

 

Denroy Tillett

Denroy Tillett

“Last year he was assisting mostly with our pre-vocational program and doing building maintenance as he is the building construction instructor. I know that he is with the TVET system since 2006. As an educator he has twenty-plus years for sure. Before he came to the TVET system he was working with the employment training and education services and I think before that he was at Ladyville Tech. So, he has been an educator for a long time.”

 

About fifteen months ago, we met Elijio at the ITVET’s Open Day in Belize City. There he spoke with us about that event and it is used to share the successful programs at the ITVET with the wider public.

 

Roderick Elijio

Roderick Elijio, Instructor, ITVET [File: April 26th, 2018]

“It is a day when we get the opportunity to show off. We display all what we have done and learnt over a period of eight to nine months and we also use it as a way of recruitment. We invite high schools and the public to come and see what we have done. While you are going to see the product that we have done, there are processes behind that and that is where the students are gonna explain what they have done. Most cases, our trainees are kept at the place where they had been placed to do that on the job training – what we call OJT. So, I would definitely put our success rate between ninety and ninety-five percent.”

 

Tillett says that Elijio’s death is a tremendous loss to the ITVET and the wider vocational field. The veteran instructor was working on news plans he wanted to introduce at the ITVET.

 

Denroy Tillett

“He was very jovial. He has a passion for TVET for sure. I know that the last time, just before school closed he came to me because he had a proposal where he wanted to introduce a new programme. It is still under building construction but to be specific, I think he wanted to do tile laying, brick laying and specific things under construction rather than just the general field so that more people can get training in specific skills. Someone with so many years of experience in the technical vocational field, it would be hard to replace. As it is, it is difficult getting teachers to come and teach in technical vocation. They would readily want to open their own business or work with an established business.”

 

The damage from the accident is concentrated on the front of the truck. The bumper and head lamp were crushed from the impact. The other dents appear on the outside of the front and rear passenger doors – while the driver’s side appears intact. Upon closer look inside, the air bag didn’t deploy and nothing seems to be out of order. We were told that no immediate visible injuries from the accident were observed on the body when it was recovered today. Persons close to Elijio allege that he was suffering from a heart condition and was in need of a surgery, and so he may have suffered a heart attack behind the wheel. But that is just a speculation. A post-mortem would reveal the cause of death. The family declined comment. Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

 

Roderick Elijio is the husband of former Deputy Director of Health Services Augustina Elijio. Matron Elijio was stabbed by a mental health patient at back in June at the Port Loyola Health Centre.


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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