Belize City students celebrate Belize’s 29th birthday with its annual rally

It’s one of the staples for September—The Primary School Children’s Rally and dates back to a time when lemonade and powder buns were the special treats. Despite the changes in treats, however, the objective of the event itself remains the same—to inject a sense of national pride. Delahnie Bain re-visited a fond memory to compare her experience with that of today’s primary school students.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

There’s no time like the present to come together in a show of love for the country, since Belize’s twenty-ninth birthday is just four days away. So today, hundreds of primary school students from Belize City gathered at the MCC Grounds for an early celebration at the annual Primary School Children’s Rally, organized by the Ministry of Education and Youth.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

Patrick Faber

“It is a chance for us to encourage our young people, our children in particular to be more patriotic. That is a big, big issue in our country today. Not many people are truly taking patriotism, are truly taking our national symbols as seriously as we should. It is simply the ministry’s contribution—a part of the ministry’s contribution to make sure that our children are going in the right direction, especially as it relates to patriotism during this time of September but also during the course of the year.”

The agenda for the day included inspirational messages from the Ministry’s Carol Babb and the top P.S.E. scorer for 2010, Siian Rancharan. But speeches aside, there was no shortage of entertainment.

{Highlights of the performances}

Carol Babb

Carol Babb, Dep. Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Education

“The fact is, a life of crime will either lead to jail or death. Make no mistake of it. When our young people decide to turn to a life of crime, it affects us all; it has a domino effect on our society. Youths suffer, families suffer, businesses suffer, Belize suffers. The only guarantee you have to a better, fuller life is to stay in school.”

Siian Rancharan, Top P.S.E. Scorer

siian rancharan

“Take charge, love your family, respect your neighbors, which means everyone. And importantly, study, Dream and aim for the highest star.”

While it was a patriotic occasion, it was a fun day for the students, who were particularly impressed by a surprise performance from Ernestine Carballo—finalist in the September Song competition and winner of best song for Carnival Road March 2010.

{Highlight of Ernestine Carballo performing}

Student, James Garbutt SDA School

“Ih mi hype.”

Delahnie Bain

“What was your favorite thing about it?”

Student, James Garbutt SDA School

“Ernestine Carballo performing.”

Delahnie Bain

“Why?”

Ernestine Carballe

Student, James Garbutt SDA School

“Cause I like she, fi she song hype. “

Delahnie Bain

“Weh dah your plans fi celebrate Bain birthday?”

Student, James Garbutt SDA School

“I noh know, just hype up myself.”

Tyler Smith, Student, James Garbutt SDA School

“Ih mi just good. Everything good.”

Delahnie Bain

“The celebrations make you feel patriotic?”

Tyler Smith

“Yes ma’am.”

Delahnie Bain

“Ready fi Belize birthday?”

Tyler Smith

“Yes ma’am.”

Delahnie Bain

“Weh you wah do Tuesday fi di birthday?”

Tyler Smith

“I wah jump up.”

Ashton Middleton, Student, Salvation Army

“Ih mi good.”

Delahnie Bain

“Weh dah mi your favorite thing bout it?”

Ashton Middleton

“When di lady mi di dance.”

Delahnie Bain

“You ready fi celebrate Belize birthday?”

Ashton Middleton

“Yes ma’am.”

Leroy Haulze, All Saints Student

“Happy Birthday Belize!”

According to Minister of Education and Youth, Patrick Faber, today’s rally and the ministry’s previous September events are multi-focused.

Patrick Faber

“It’s more than just patriotism. It’s arts, it’s literacy, it’s numeracy, it’s whatever we can pack into whatever event we’re doing. That is what we’re about because as one of our other presenter said this morning, teachers are tasked and educators are tasked with molding children, not only their academic performance and their academic ability, we have a task of molding them in such a way that they can be productive citizens no matter what arena they enter once they get out into the working world.”

And after all, it was a celebration so the day couldn’t end without birthday wishes.

“Happy Birthday Belize! Happy Birthday Belize! Happy Birthday Belize!”

Delahnie Bain for News Five.

This morning’s children’s rally was followed by a stay in school rally for secondary school students.

Channel 5