While senior UDP Ministers have been clearly attempting to convince the teachers not to follow their Union leadership, all indications are that the Union decision to march on Monday is final. Memos have been sent to all branches and schools, calling on the teachers to stand up.

Yesterday when BNTU National President Luke Palacio met with Orange Walk teachers, he defended their actions saying it isn’t political and that the teachers are being called to be true patriots.

Screen_Shot_2016-09-15_at_7.59.41_PMLuke Palacio, BNTU National President

“Our teachers go beyond the call of duty, our teachers are at school early in the morning because their parents would go to work and they need to drop off their children at school and our teachers are there, our teachers stay back at school after parents who are employed and knock off at five o’clock and six o’clock because their children are still at school, we as teachers take money out of our pockets and feed children, we as teachers take out money out of our pockets and buy materials so that our children, not our biological children, but children we teach are able to participate actively in all the activities in our school and so that they can learn so I don’t believe that the parents are going to buy into what these politicians are trying to say that we are not thinking about our children, every money that our politicians spend comes from their constituency budgets that is doesn’t come from their pockets, the teachers the moneys comes out of their pockets to do these things that I have just mentioned in addition to raising funds at school so I cannot and we will not feel guilty for doing what we are doing.  The BNTU has always shown how committed his members are and we are not about to make any threats, we are not about trying to bring down this country, we are about trying to get our country to be better and whatever the number go out to Belmopan on Monday would have been sending a message that we as teachers are not satisfied, we as teachers are concerned about this country and we will not give up trying to ensure that Belize becomes a better place for all of us.”

The National President also responded to reports that some school administrations were denying their teachers the right to participate in Monday’s demonstration. Palacio said teachers must be prepared to defy the intimidation and demand respect for their rights.

Luke Palacio, BNTU National President

“We always say to our teachers that we did not go to schools, we did not go to schools to become fools and if anybody decided that they are going to fall prey to the administrators who when it suits them wants the Unions on their side then so be it but then we cannot force anybody to do what they don’t want to do and equally so we are saying to our teachers you stand up, intimidation can be there for a day or two but at the end of the it is for the greater good of this country that we are fighting for.”

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