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Friday, January 22, 2021
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An Ode to Teachers

Permit me, dear readers, to offer warmest felicitations to a dear brother, Mr. Marco Lopez, on his rise to the esteemed post of Editor-in-Chief of this most prestigious paper. Also, permit me to extend my salutations to Mr. Russell Vellos for his stellar and devoted service to this organization. He’s truly a giant among men. Additionally, congratulations are in order to the Amandala for making such a statement in appointing Mr. Lopez to fill such a noble position. I’m certain that he will excel, because this organization ensures no less. Congratulations are in order!

Saluting Our Teachers
That aside, now shifting gears, the delivery of education in this country is set to resume on Monday, January 11. Given the battle we continue to face with this pandemic, students still will not be able to physically return to classes for face-to-face learning. The resumption of the delivery of pedagogical services will continue online for those for whom it’s applicable, and of course, through paper-based methodology for the masses.

This then means that teachers all across the country are gearing up for another round of remote learning. Be it online, paper-based or a hybrid (blended) model, teachers are busy preparing their lessons and activities for Monday, January 11. This pandemic has really thrust teachers into alternative means of delivery without fair warning or apt time for preparation and adaptation. It has required teachers to realign their strategies and, in some instances, forced them out of their comfort zones.

I often read and listen as many persons complain that teachers “have it good” and that the work that they are doing is less than burdensome. But such statements cannot be further from the truth. Such statements are actually acts of repudiation and are an outright travesty, to say the least. Teachers have worked and are continuing to work tirelessly throughout this pandemic to ensure that our nation’s children are meaningfully engaged, kept on track and are afforded the necessary instruction and activities that are needed to support and foster learning.

Teachers all across this country have been forced to adapt without fair warning and with little training and inadequate provision of the requisite resources to effectively execute their duties. Teachers have used the little that is afforded to them, adapted to the times and have gone above and beyond their calling to ensure that adequate and effective material is provided to students, and that parents are apprised accordingly and kept abreast of their children’s progress. Furthermore, they have utilized their own resources to keep in contact with parents and students and even conducted home visits when necessary.

So as teachers all over the country are gearing up for another round of remote learning, let us take a minute to hail and salute our teachers. They are truly unsung heroes who (just like the frontline workers) have worked indefatigably and with much perseverance throughout this pandemic. They faced many challenges and uphill battles, and time and time again they rose to the challenge and overcame. Salute to all you amazing and wonderful teachers, and know that you are greatly valued and that your service is much appreciated. Keep on, keeping on!

The World Watched in Awe
Finally, and quite unrelated to my central topic, the entire world came to a screeching halt yesterday. We tuned in to our television sets and watched in awe as one of the most astounding measures of insurrection unfolded before our very eyes. I, much like the rest of the world, was astonished, flabbergasted, to say the least, as citizens of the United States of America overtook the Capitol.

One simply could not believe or even begin to fathom what was taking place. As I watched in awe and sheer disbelief, I was taken aback by the very derailment of their sovereign democracy and the sheer disregard for the peaceful transfer of power, which has been a most sacred institution for centuries. Yesterday was a very sad day for America and an eye-opener for the rest of the world.

However, somehow, as I reflect on all that happened yesterday in such a great nation, I am not entirely surprised. It could happen anywhere and at anytime, because democracy is a fragile thing, and the will of a people is rather indomitable. But more than just that, Bible principles remind us that we are living in the last days. The times that we are in are critical and we must brace ourselves and be ready for whatever comes.

We are reminded of the words from 2 Timothy 3: 1-5:

“3 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.”

I say to you, fellow readers, that these are some critical times. The days ahead will be crucial and laborious. But hold strong and stand firm in the truth, ‘cause after all, we are all in this together; and moreover, only (we) the people can save the people!

Unchained reflections of a liberal pragmatist.

God Bless Belize!

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