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Friday, January 24, 2020
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Demand education

Dear Editor,

As scandals explode, we are reminded of previous scandals that have come and gone. “De lee breeze” has repeatedly blown over, as Said Musa infamously declared. Media houses report scandals but do not allow for political analysis or welcome commentators to their broadcasts. Follow-ups are done the night after and then the matter is forgotten. The citizenry continues to struggle while our Ministers exploit us and worse, exploit the future of Belizean children.

In this letter, I do not want to merely complain. I want to make a proposal to the people of Belize. Demand education. Demand it for yourself. Demand it for your children. Demand it for your grandchildren.

In Belize, we are not offered courses in political science, development, and gender studies. When we graduate primary school and high school, we are knowledgeable in academic subjects like math and science. But we graduate socially inept. Many of us do not know how our system works. We do not know our basic rights. We do not know where Belize stands relative to the rest of the world. We do not know how to participate in our democracy and we do not know how to make our country better. The education system is spitting out people who are unable to participate in the development of their country, not because they do not want to participate, but because they do not know how.

This should end, today. Children deserve to graduate with knowledge of their country and their society. They deserve that empowerment. As domestic violence continues and sexual assaults are reported on an almost daily basis, students should be taught about gender issues. Both young women and men ought to be taught equality of the sexes and the issues that affect each sex. Courses like political science, gender studies, and developmental studies expand the minds of its students. These are the social sciences that create leaders. No longer should we allow our children to go to schools to learn only math, science, and English. They must know about social justice and politics.

A weapon often used by dictators is the disempowerment of its citizenry. They do not educate their youth because educated people will not be silenced into blind obedience. Belizeans continue to tolerate the blatant nepotism, scandals, and corruption by every government that has ever been in power. Why? Because we have been taught to be docile and accepting. We have been taught that we deserve no better. And we have been taught that we are helpless.

You vote for these Ministers. You vote for your leaders. You should demand, and demand now, that you and your children and your grandchildren are empowered through education. Education is, without a doubt, the key to our future. Do not allow our self-interested leaders to hold the key in their pockets. That key is ours.

Jessica Habet

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