The new school year is fast approaching. Parents are on the quest to find school supplies, uniforms and money for fees. At the Ministry of Education, they say schools are ready to take back their students fully and in person for the first time in two years. Minister Francis Fonseca said today he was optimistic for the pupils and teachers heading back into the classrooms.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “I’m never satisfied. I’m never satisfied I think we have a lot of work to do but we’re doing the best we can. I think we have ensured that we are engaging with all our stakeholders in education, that everybody understands that we are coming out of a very difficult and challenging period, that we have an absolute duty and obligation to double down and work even harder than ever before to ensure that these young people who are in our care and custody get an opportunity to recover some of the lost learning that they have lost over the past two years and help them to move forward. As you all know we are taking decisive steps to support that objective I believe you were at the launch of the curriculum that’s a very important step in that process and many other initiatives or education upliftment project on the South side of Belize City, our textbook program all these other initiatives I think are all aimed at making sure that we give our young people the very critical support that they need in these difficult times.”
At the end of the last school year, there were reports that there were issues with school runs. Reports to our newsroom at the time were that students in Corozal were left stranded on the road and the bus runs in the south were woefully inadequate. Minister Francis Fonseca said he does not expect any major setbacks with school runs this year.
Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “ Those issues are resolved those issues primarily arose because of the increase of the price of diesel which you know really threw everything out of whack. The contracts that these contractors signed were for a fixed value, a certain rate per mile. Obviously when the price of diesel blew up those contracts became worthless. So we’ve gotten further assistance from the Ministry of Finance and so we have sat down with all of the contractors to work out a program to support them so I don’t foresee any issues. Of course bus transportation, school transportation always has issues but we’re confident that those big issues have been resolved.”