Some weeks ago more than a hundred Belizean teachers visited Belize’s southwestern border with Guatemala.

During the trip the teachers got a chance to see some of the different cross-border issues at play between the neighboring Villages of Belize's Jalacte and Guatemala's Santa Cruz. Following this trip the Belize Teachers Union decided that as educators of this country they need to take a stand and learn more about the Belize – Guatemala territorial dispute and the possibility of taking this issue to the International Court of Justice-ICJ.

As a way to inform and educate teachers on this national issue the Belize Teacher’s Union has organized a forum this coming Friday, where teachers from across the country will be given the opportunity to listen to the pros and cons of Belize going to the ICJ and later will be given the opportunity to cast an informed vote on the matter to determine the official stand of the BNTU.

Today when we spoke to president of BNTU Orange Walk, Otilio Munoz, he told us more about the objective of the event.

Screen_Shot_2016-04-12_at_8.07.29_PMOtilio Munoz- President- BNTU Orange Walk

“The objective for that is for teachers to listen to both sides and as I said to Mr. Assad Showman and then after that they will make a decision and we will be having ballots where the teachers will be voting going or not going to the ICJ and then after that has been done then the Belize National Teachers Union can give a stand, there is no principal and there anyone has the authority to stop you from going, it is approved, you will not be deducted and the ministry has granted that permission and it means that you are free to go.”

Representatives from both leading political partners will be present at the forum along with, Mr. Assad Shoman, who is well versed in the territorial dispute. Teachers will hear from all three persons on Friday and according to Munoz, teachers are taking a stance outside of politics as this is a national issue that is affecting every single Belizean.

Otilio Munoz- President- BNTU Orange Walk

“One of our main things we are looking at is that we are educators of this country and as such we need to be well informed and as the same because we teach these things at our social studies lesson throughout the year whichever school you go in any part of the country that is a part of our curriculum and we need to be teaching the correct thing and this is the tie that we can get inform on the national issues.”

The forum will take place at the Mount Carmel High School in Benque Viejo Town and all teachers are called to make an effort to attend.

Otilio Munoz- President- BNTU Orange Walk

“Call the teachers the BNTU membership to come out and to go to Benque and let us express our solidarity and send a message to government, we are not criticizing the government, we are not bringing down the government we are simply sending a message to the government.”

Food and transportation will be provided for all teachers who attend, a bus will be leaving Town Hall on Friday morning at 5: 30.

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