Letter: Educational subsidies

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Dear Sir:

The Belize Peace Movement strongly condemns the actions of the deputy prime minister and minister of education, by way of his politicizing the students’ awards ceremony held in Punta Gorda on 17th June 2019.

It is shameful for the minister to allow a United Democratic Party ( UDP ) political aspirant to take part in distributing the awards and whose presence reeked of party political posturing.  It is a further shame and insult to the school, parents, teachers and young students that their innocent and important occasion was disrespected by the minister, who tried to make it appear that he and the political aspirant were doing students a favour by giving some students monies from the education grant.

Monies for education grants are not raised through special efforts by the minister, his government or the un-elected aspirant. It is the people’s monies that were obtained through the imposition of burdensome taxes and hijacked by the politicians who distribute it on personal and party political biases.

It is the position of the Belize Peace Movement that the education grant must not be used the way the deputy prime minister and the government are using and abusing it. The education grant must be managed by an impartial body made up of the religious and non-political sectors of our society and awarded to students on a non-partisan and merit-based system which is transparent for all citizens to see.

The actions of the deputy prime minister fly in the face of any and all things associated with non-partisan best practices. Such actions are tantamount to the perverse exploitation of the public purse, for political mileage. This is undoubtedly a dishonourable act and in keeping with the Belize PEACE Movement’s commitment to anti-corruption, we strongly condemn this blatant affront to principled leadership.

Bobby Lopez
Belize Peace Movement

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