PM Briceno Clarifies Statements, Denies Disrespect to Belize National Teachers Union

PM Briceno Clarifies Statements, Denies Disrespect to Belize National Teachers Union

Prime Minister John Briceno says his statements on the Belize National Teachers were taken out of context. Earlier this month, the union issued a fiery release in response to the now-canceled proposed telephone allowance increase for Chief Executive Officers. The union made an “animal farm” reference in the statement, which sparked the PM’s response, in which he said the “BNTU should look in the mirror. The PM clarified the statement on Wednesday and says he did not mean to disrespect the BNTU.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “That happens all the time when people just pick out what they want to hone onto and to discuss or to make an issue about. As I mention all the time I have great respect for the teachers. Many of those union members don’t realize but I used to march with the BNTU when I was kid. My mother was a proud member of the Belize Teachers Union so that I know, I understand BNTU. But the truth is that as a government, even under the UDP and Patrick Faber will be the first to tell you if he is prepared to tell the truth that we have been spending more and more education but we’re getting less in return. When you have approximately 50% of our young people that A. just finished primary school or B. Not even finish primary school we have a major problem. But I want to put things in a different perspective that this is a challenge that affects all of us, that we as a society we’re not good parents anymore. You know I remember growing up if I misbehaved in the street and they go and tell my father – I remember once I called a lady a funny name and I was just a kid and they told my father, when I got home my father gave me a whipping I never did that again in my life. Today you go do that and tell a parent ‘Oh your child misbehaved.’ the first thing they will tell is it’s none of your business you know ? We need to look out for one another and I think we’re losing that. So it’s not only the teachers but it’s the parents, it is the government all of us have to come together to see how we can turn things around to ensure that our children can remain in school and that they can learn and that they can become productive citizens for the future of this country.”

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