All primary schools were able to open their doors to welcome students this week, save for one which was St. Mary’s Anglican School in Belize City. The administration was forced to call off the return to face-to-face learning because of the infrastructural state of the building. The school’s management contacted the Ministry of Education in June and a team of engineers were sent within twenty-four hours to assess the severity of the situation. After the assessment, the structure was deemed dangerous for students and teachers. Today, Minister Fonseca explained that they are working together on a solution which will be presented to the parents at a meeting tomorrow.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “The situation at Saint Mary’s was first brought to my attention in June of this year that was the first time I heard about the situation. The principle visited me and explained it to me what the situation was and showed me some photographs. I immediately took action within 24 hours I sent a team from the projects unit at the Ministry of Education engineers to look at Saint Mary’s to meet with the principles, to meet with the Anglican managers to assess the situation. They immediately came to the conclusion that it was not safe for them to continue to have classes at Saint Mary’s. So that was known from around June or certainly by the end of June and the management we have been working along with the management and the administration to try to find a solution. There are proposals for a solution I don’t want to get ahead of the administration and the management. I know they are having a meeting with the parents on Thursday to discuss those proposals but we do believe that there will be a solution, at definitive solution to that issue.”
Minister Fonseca says that they are making urgent moves to get the students back in class; however, it is lamentable that parents were informed at the last minute.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “The principal had been bringing the matter to the attention of the Anglican management for some time and you know it took them some time to recognize and I think appreciate the urgency of it. Finally they did. As I said we acted immediately when it was brought to my attention by the principal in June and so now it’s the question of trying to address it in a very urgent and responsible way.”