Today was the first day of school for thousands of primary school students across the country. It was not business as usual at the St. Matthew RC School in Las Flores as there was visible police presence. This is because residents have been up in arms over the sale of a piece of property adjacent to the school. We hear more from correspondent Fem Cruz.
Fem Cruz, Love FM:
“A very important meeting was held yesterday at the community center in the Las Flores area of Belmopan by a number of concerned residents. Love News was called out this morning to a second meeting this time at the St. Michael’s School in Las Flores. According to those 294 residents of Las Flores that showed up for those two meetings they are there to show support for the school and to show their dissatisfaction concerning a plot of land that was sold by the Belmopan City Council. Angel Chavez and Jose Ico spoke to Love News after the meeting.
“Yesterday’s meeting we have been having meetings at the community center with concerns about the plot of land that the Mayor Khalil sold to Ms. Amy Chen which had been protected by the community for years, around thirty two years, we have been keeping it clean and as a property of the school but today’s gathering as concerned parents was to let them know and show them the area that is being mentioned that they Mayor sold to said person. The parents are in agreement that it is unfair because it is the future of the kids of Las Flores not even the kids and not just here because we have kids from Roaring Creek and even Belmopan attending the school so at the end of the day we are fighting not in any political manner but we are fighting as concerned parents to see that the future of Las Flores and the surrounding area’s education is protected.”
“This morning the parents came out because we have had community meetings for the past few months and they agreed from the last meeting that the parents are to come in and show their support to the children but Monday first day of classes parents usually come and drop their children and they came in and they were aware of the pieces of land that were sold by the council and they gathered on the school compound just lending support in getting back the parcel of land adjacent to the school in which we understood that one piece has already been sold to a private citizen which the school has been using since 1985. Parents are now looking at it saying that this land belongs to the school for the mere fact that they have been using it.”
Fem Cruz, Love FM: But why did the school management take so long to get title of this land?
“We still have no title to the land we are waiting and as I told the parents the principal applied and the principal before that decided on a process trying to get classrooms. At the moment we are very congested and SIF came and approached us and they want to construct six classroom buildings but they can’t do that because we don’t have title to the land and that is when the school found out that the school has no title and so we started to dialogue and within our dialogue we found out that the pieces of land are in process to be sold.”
Despite numerous attempts, we have been unable to get a comment from Mayor Khalid Belisle about the ongoing controversy.