It is expected that the Civic Center on May 18 will be packed to maximum capacity with teachers from across the country. The venue has been selected to be the place where more than six thousand teachers will be for Teacher’s Day which will be celebrated on a national level. But who is paying for the event? The bill was expected to be split between the Ministry of Education, school managements, and the BNTU. But President Elena Smith says that the union has no money to contribute. Senator Smith explained why the BNTU cannot contribute to the event.
Elena Smith, BNTU President: “The cost for that should be shared by all parties, now we want to make it clear when we do celebration by branch level the union takes on that cost. When it’s by school a lot of teachers will fund raise to celebrate their day. When it comes to national Ministry Management Union everybody contribute together. We are also aware that there is another union in Belize, another teachers union in Belize and the too should be joining for the national celebration because they are teachers and they come under the same rule as we do. However BNTU is saying that if managements are saying that they cannot contribute to towards Teachers day and why is it that we should be the one to take a bigger part of the burden for our teachers. We have spent a lot of money over the past year on more activities. We’ve had the rallies, we’ve had our DVD launch, and we spent a lot of money on the eleven days of strike so we have spent a lot of monies so far. We’ve tried our best to support as much as we can but this time around our council has said we cannot afford to contribute anything to Teachers Day and so this year the BNTU will not be contributing towards teacher’s day. We can’t we don’t have that extra and we have seen where when it should have been a national celebration and the Ministry could not find the funds and could not find the funds or could not put the funds, they change the celebration all together and they said you know what it should have been national we don’t have the money, there is not enough money to pay for it so let us do it at school level or Branch level and so then the cycle was changed because they were unable to carry out that celebration. Well this year we are saying that we cannot afford to give. The first time we had it we gave, the second time it was canceled and I think it was went to school level. This year we can’t give anything and so I don’t know what will happen.”
Last year Teacher’s Day was celebrated on a branch level.