As scheduled the Belize National Teachers Union, (BNTU), undertook strike action across the country of Belize in their demand for better governance in our nation. Even before today’s industrial action the BNTU were urging parents to stand in solidarity with them and to refrain from sending their children to school.
So, did parents adhere to BNTU’s plea? What we can tell you is that here in Orange Walk over 90 percent of the school population were closed as over four hundred teachers partook in today’s strike. San Francisco Primary School was closed, La Imaculada Primary School closed, Saint Peters Anglican School closed, Muffles High School closed, Orange Walk Technical High School had the presence of 11 teachers, New Hope High School had a low staff and student body, Louisiana Government School remained opened but the student body was low.
Of the six primary schools in town only one remained open today and of the four high schools only two remained open but had a minimal population of teachers and students present.
Late this afternoon following meetings held across the country by the different branches of the BNTU, the announcement was made that the strike continues tomorrow.
Our news team spoke to President of BNTU, Orange Walk branch Otilio Munoz, following the meeting held at the Crystal Palace auditorium, who informed that of the over 300 hundred teachers present at the meeting this afternoon, 99 percent supported the extension of the strike action.
Otilio Munoz – President BNTU Orange Walk Branch
“It is a meeting that was held country wide, simultaneously, and basically is to inform our teachers who are on strike to inform them as to what the latest development of our strike is and what will happen. Basically, I want to inform that we got the ok from head office that we will be having a second day strike tomorrow, so tomorrow the teachers are still on strike, we are not having classes, we are asking the teachers who reported today to reflect, to reflect because you saw the students of the Muffles Junior College were bold enough to get out and rally out and do a small little protest, that is overwhelming when I started them as the students and I am sending a message to those teachers at Muffles Junior College so it was overwhelming to me to see young people with that energy and that they are advocate of change, they want to see a better Belize so I am asking those teachers who were there in their classrooms to think about it, don’t think if you are going to be deducted a one day salary, what will be your future when tomorrow they tell you there is no gratuity and pension you are thinking about one day removing of your pay think about what will happen later on so these are consequences that might come your way and you will say why I didn’t stand up for what was right then, basically as I said it is just to update them and to feel from them if they can go the extra mile, if they are willing to go ahead with the strike and they said yes it was a redundant answer yes so they are onboard with us and I want to emphasize with the parents to be with us and don’t send your child because you know that today it was a chaos because even some teachers who did not signed that will be going to the strike still did not reported to school and why because they are intimidated and when you are intimidated you cannot answer, you are afraid and you leave it to the principal wondering what you are going to do but if you are being honest and you don’t come with intimidation the I think teachers would have been more honest so what was happening today we saw that there were some student who were going and the teachers were going and the students were not there but at the end of the day it is the parent that has to make the decision if you don’t want to send your child t school don’t send them.”
Parents and teachers are once again being asked to stand together with the BNTU tomorrow as the strike action continues.
Otilio Munoz – President BNTU Orange Walk Branch
“Tomorrow I’m meeting again at the Crystal Auditorium at 3pm and I want to ask those teachers that are still in strike with us to be there for a meeting as we will be updating them as to what will happen next, so we want to ask the parent, you are vital, we want your support because at the end of the day you know that the teachers that are out here they want the best for your child. The future is unexpected and I want to be honest I myself don’t know what will be the reaction tomorrow, I will be having a meeting at 9am at the headquarters and we will be discussing and then from there when I comeback I’ll be reporting to my membership at 3pm what will be our move and what will happen.”
A special emergency meeting will be held tomorrow for the teachers to decide the way forward. Immediately following the meeting held today by the Orange Walk membership of the BNTU, teachers took part in a short motorcade that started at the Crystal Palace Auditorium, went through the streets of town and ending at the central Park.
|< Prev||Next >|