Educators from across the country gathered on Friday to celebrate Teachers’ Day, designed to highlight and honour the many roles, duties and responsibilities of teachers.
In Belize City, teachers assembled at the BTL Park on Newtown Barracks for a day of speeches, acknowledgements, entertainment and lunch.
Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, underscored the importance of having teachers that are committed to their noble profession. “Having pedagogical skills is not enough…to be a good teacher you have to have a heart”, he reminded.
This is a message that the leadership of the BNTU constantly tell their membership, says Kathleen Flowers, president of the Belize National Teachers’ Union Belize District branch. “If your heart is not in it [then] it’s time to look for another job because to be an effective teacher in the classroom you’ve got to have the love, compassion and care for the children”, she repeated. She continued that Mr. Faber’s speech was inspirational and effective and it suited the atmosphere of celebrating the work of teachers.
The atmosphere that Flowers alluded to was different from what it can be known to have when the union and the government discuss salary adjustments and benefits, something that the two parties have been actively engaged in since the start of this year.
At present, those negotiations are on hold, according to Flowers, to allow for committees that have been assigned to devise cost-saving measures finalise those figures before the union presents it in a proposal to the government.
Flowers said that the gathering at the park was not the majority of its Belize District branch but that was because the managements of many of the schools had opted to take their teachers on field trips.