Well, well, the way the UDP is behaving, you’d think that it was their money that had been used and was being used to build pre-schools in some areas of the country. The railing up on Wave Radio was pitiable, and at times anyone listening to them had to be seriously worried that the suffering protestors would sink to the gutter, to coarse language to express their anguish.
There was a time when dirty words could get you into big trouble in Belize. Philip Goldson and Leigh Richardson went to jail for saying, revolution. If Sandy Hunter didn’t go to court to defend George Price, he would have gotten time da back for saying, toilet paper. And Evan X Hyde and Ismail Shabazz needed a huge crowd outside of the Supreme Court to get a “not guilty” verdict after X Hyde said, hee hee.
We can’t blame the British. They tried so hard to civilize us, but oh what a miserable failure. Now the leelest of people are flinging the biggest, baddest, dohtiest words.
Personally, even eena a dis ya lax time, I don’t think Joe and Fonso would have gotten away with any foul language. Remember when Manuel Esquivel who loved a cliché said that when baby waahn baal yu oanli haffu luk pahn dehn? Well this new government is looking for excuse fu throw somebody into jail. I bet if Chebat was PM, lot a UDP mi wahn done di wayr orange jublung.
Why all this pain and sorrow because the new Minister of Education and his deputy opened a few buildings that the last government left half-finished? It’s such a griping in their stomachs that it even spilled over into their newspaper, with a story by their lead reporter, and full-page ads every week.
What is wrong with the UDP? We gave these people 13 years – that amounts to managing over 14 billion dollars — and they are claiming rights to a million dollars invested in pre-school buildings that weren’t finished when they got booted from office.
Dr. Zabaneh, the nice guy representative from Dangriga, was being nice, yes, or could not have thought the UDP madness through when he congratulated them for the investments in pre-school buildings during those disappointing 13 years. But give Dr. Zab a prop, definitely for quick thinking, for after buttering Joe and Fonso he reminded them that their party had also built on what had been set up before. Really, that’s how it is, a continuing process, and wouldn’t it be great if we had a lot of success to build on?
Agh, too often when we choose leaders, it’s much about applying the corrective. UDP 93-98 was hired to put the brake on the PUP’s bloated Italian projects, PUP 1998-2003 was hired to kickstart the economy after the UDP ran us out of gas, UDP 2008 -2020 got a mission to stop the stealing, and PUP 2020 got the job to stop the stealing that the UDP, instead of stopping, increased.
The whining in the UDP camp isn’t all about pre-schools. Short on cash, that crowd borrowed wildly to build a first-class highway to Caracol. Well, there’s a heap of howling coming out of the UDP camp because the PUP is spending that money.
I’m no mind reader, but it sure does sound like the UDPeez wish they could have gotten the money lenders to freeze it. Hmm, it’s a heck of a lot of money they borrowed and a lot of road to construct, so there’s going to be a lot of suffering of our friends there at the Wave and the Guardian. There’ll be calls for smelling salts by the buckets at the cutting of the ribbon.
Cutting away to some fresh politics, the commission of inquiry into the sale of GOB assets reportedly is back on, and let me call for a separation before things get scattered again. Yes, we must pay attention to the present, but if we spank the ones from the past, the present bohgaz will fret about days to come.
Ending this political bit with some good news for an old acquaintance, John Saldivar should thank Chebat for postponing that convention set for Sunday. I’m not saying he would have lost — and he should have — I’m saying that it gives him time to get himself right, over his wrongs. Oscar Mira and his committee are daubing paint all over John’s fence, but there’s no amount of paint that can cover up John’s failures; only humility can do that, only sackcloth. I was never an altar boy, but even me noa that when yu fail yu own up to it and go to confession.
Subject teaching and a national anonymous test
All over today’s Camalote there are people with big degrees, huge degrees, but when I went to live there in the early 1980s, I was Mr. Educated. Opportunities weren’t many for villagers in those days, only a few going on to high school. As Mr. Educated in the village, I had to shoulder some weight, one of those being at the new school.
As president of the school’s PTA, I called, sin éxito, for subject teaching in Math and English. Get the facts correct. Not all teachers can teach all subjects. I know that because I had children in the school.
At Holy Redeemer, the primary school I attended, all my teachers were top of the line. That’s why even though I was very uncomfortable at that place, I didn’t come out a total bust. Not all my teachers had top degrees, but those who weren’t fully ready were under much supervision, under the watchful eyes of university-educated nuns from the convent. Yap, the ones who weren’t fully ready were under observation, until they got the passing grade. I don’t know how things are run today, but the evidence I have is that some are being thrown into the fire before they are up to the task.
Every year we have a lot of woes over the PSE results. We know the problems concerning students. Patrick Faber removed all physical punishment, so that tool isn’t available to teachers anymore, to put fire under the behinds of their charges. The poverty in our country is terrible, and in some areas the violence is oppressive — conditions which stymie the capacity of our youth in school. The foreign television and cellphones dominate our world, and they distract our students.
Most of our children need a lot of help, and we all know some of those hurdles won’t be easily or quickly crossed. While we work at righting that part of the ship as best as we can, there are other areas to look at. We have to look at the exam (when it returns): is it too stiff? I think we can rule out the old exams being too tough, because in this competitive world it must be that our exams are comparable to those that are given in other countries. The capitalist system is based on competition, and we have to keep up. So then, we couldn’t/can’t scale down the exam.
Is it that the teachers aren’t imparting the material well? To answer that question, we have to measure our talent pool. A national anonymous exam will show where our strengths and weaknesses are.
One thing that will come out of such an exam for sure is our true strength in English and Math. Every school should have at least two teachers who are excellent in those subjects, and where there aren’t enough for every class, we should do subject teaching. No class should miss a beat because the teacher isn’t optimum in those subjects.
We need to know how many excellent arts teachers we have too, and music teachers, and physical educators, and spread the wealth.