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Schools countrywide, except Benque Viejo to rally on September 15

Posted: Wednesday, September 13, 2023. 7:55 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: It has been customary that leading up to Belize’s Independence Day on September 21st, the countrywide school rally is held with students proudly waving their Belizean flags.

This year’s rally has been scheduled for Friday, September 15 for primary schools countrywide since the students’ rally is usually held on the Friday before Independence Day.

However, the Benque Viejo branch of the Belize National Teachers Union (BNTU) has issued a letter informing members of the change of date in the children’s rally.

This is due to the fact that our Central American neighbors including Guatemala who has a territorial claim with Belize currently at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) celebrate their Independence celebrations on September 15. This date coincides with the national children’s rally.

“Traditionally, the Benque Viejo Branch of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), along with local schools, has celebrated Belize’s independence by participating in the parade on the 20th of September. This date holds great historical significance for our nation, providing an opportunity for students to learn about our country’s history and the struggles that led to its independence.

However, this year, the Ministry of Education has instructed that schools parade on the 15th of September, which coincides with Guatemala’s Independence Day,” the BNTU Benque branch noted.

Since Benque Viejo del Carmen is a border town and Guatemala’s territorial claim is sensitive for students and families, it has been decided that schools in Benque Viejo will continue with their tradition to parade on September 20.

“This decision has been made with the utmost consideration for the best interests of our students and our community. It allows us to celebrate Belizean Independence without any potential conflicts or misunderstandings, emphasizing the importance of our national identity,” the statement added.

All other schools in communities countrywide will join the school rally on September 15.

In the spirit of celebration and national unity, students are encouraged to demonstrate their pride and patriotism in their respective schools and communities.


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