Over 400 Belize District Teachers Rally in Belize City

vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h09m42s42The BTL Constitution Park this morning was filled with teachers of the Old Capital and bused in from the River Valley and cayes. It was part two of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU)’s efforts to raise awareness on key national issues and also to make their case for the salary adjustment expected in July.

While the overall turnout was only about 330 at the start of the march, it grew to about 400 when it ended a short time later at Battlefield Park in the heart of downtown. Gwen Lizarraga High School teacher Paul Norales was one of the marchers.

vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h18m03s236Mr. Paul Norales- Teacher at  Gwen Lizarraga High School

“As a teacher for four years, we have to stand strong in  unity so as to make in anything that we believe, and be prosperous.  As teachers of today, we have to be strong; we are called to do so many things.  We are showing the government where we all want a change for the betterment of this country”.

According to Wesley College’s Joel Wade, the issues talked about by the teachers today extend to the entire population.

vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h26m52s0Mr. Joel Wade – Teacher at Wesley College

“I am here supporting my Union”.

Reporter:  “Supporting your Union for salary adjustment?”

Mr. Joel Wade:  “Yeah, you should know by now, haw, hah., hah”.

vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h09m49s151 Reporter:  “So, moving forward, what do the teachers want the community to know about this cause?”

Mr. Joel Wade:  “I want to know that whatever we are calling is not only for teachers.  It will definitely have an effect on the wider community.  every student that we have in our school has a family back home.  So, that will get transferred to each individual family”.

The BNTU marched under the theme “Teechaz gat yu bak” and BNTU National President Luke Palacio told us that anyone wishing to join in with their cause should, but they should be very careful not to take away from the overall message.

 vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h31m19s229Mr. Luke Palacio- National President of BNTU

“The Belize National Teachers Union had this plan of action even before these national issues have come up that we believe, need to be addressed.  Obviously, if it’s a national issue, we expect to see this type of support”.

We showed you the mass crowd of teachers who gathered in Belize City for the BNTU rally. We now have that clip of the teachers’ choice words for Education Minister Patrick Faber, who has expressed his disapproval of the teachers’ movement.

Parading Teachers Singing

vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h51m16s171vlcsnap-2014-01-17-21h21m24s189“If Patrick doesn’t like it, he shall be removed, if Patrick doesn’t like it, he shall be removed that’s why…he shall be removed”.

Participants included the executive of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA) and the rally, which lasted until noon, featured several union heavyweights including George Frazer and Elena Smith. Rallies are scheduled for San Ignacio next week and the BNTU’s national tour wraps ups in.


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