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Classes disrupted by Pink Eye

The outbreak of conjunctivitis or pink eye originated in the Corozal District and has since spread across the country. In Belize City, pink eye has disrupted many schools with a number of students missing from classes. The students who came down with the illness would stay away from school up to a week. Love News spoke with Vice Principal of Holy Redeemer Middle School, Fidelia Cuellar, who shared how their school has been affected.

Fidelia Cuellar – Vice Principal of Holy Redeemer Middle School

“We’ve seen since last week a gradual rise in numbers. Our peak was last week Thursday when we had 248 cases meaning students out with pink eye and since Thursday and after the long weekend on Tuesday when we came back we saw a drop now we are back at 81 students but every day since Tuesday we are having new cases going out, minimal but still new. Thankfully we’ve only had two teachers out of our 44 who have been out with pink eye so we are thankful for that because that would have created another problem for us.”

The school had to come up with an intervention to deal with the disruption of classes caused by pink eye.

Fidelia Cuellar – Vice Principal of Holy Redeemer Middle School

“Well one of the intervention plans we had was if half of or more of the class were absent or more the teachers did not teach anything new, they just reinforced anything that they had taught before and solidified that foundation. If less than half then they would continue but they would also have all their information and content filed for when the kids came back. So since Tuesday teachers have been having kids after classes catching up with work. We had some parents who came during their absence and would have gotten the work to get it done at home so we have been balancing. We know that we will have to continue doing this until the epidemic is over.”

Cuellar said that this is the first time that their school has been affected to such an extent by an illness, whereby students are missing from the lower, middle and upper divisions. A total of 248 students were missing at once out of 1,048 students. Students continue to be missing from classes due to pink eye, but there has been a decrease in the number of cases, Cuellar said.