Ministry of Education Francis Fonseca met up with the media today where he provided an update on several aspects within his ministry. At the forefront is the task force, its role in the reopening of schools.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology: “As you know we recently formed what we call the COVID Education Task Force and the whole objective of that task force is to bring together relevant key stakeholders who can help to guide the Ministry of Education to make decisions about the safe and responsible reopening of schools, face to face instruction. As you know everybody wants to get back to school our students have lost a lot of time, many of our most vulnerable students are falling behind so our objective, all of us in education want to get back into the classroom but we recognize that we have to be guided by the public health officials and our decisions have to be based on science and we have to have to of course take into consideration all the very real and legitimate concerns that our administrative staff have across the country. So that is the purpose of the task force. The task force is there to hear your recommendations if any citizen of Belize, any stakeholder wants to submit their recommendations we’re welcoming those.”
As for the exact date for a reopening of the classrooms, Fonseca says all these matters are up in the air as the Covid-19 situation remains fluid.
Hon. Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology: “All those issues are on the table for discussion exactly that – how can we in a staged progressive manner reopen schools. As you said perhaps looking at secondary schools first but also I can tell you I had a meeting earlier this week at Stella Maris school. We’re very very concerned about our special needs students who are particularly disadvantaged by this COVID-19 situation because obviously they need special one on one attention. So we’re looking at our special needs students, we’re trying to design a specific package for them to find a model for them to return to the schools. We’re also doing the same thing with ITVETs because obviously skills training needs hands on education. So we’re looking at that, we’re looking at Central Farm how can we get our agricultural students back onto the ground these are critically important issues and early childhood education as well how can we safely bring back our young kids, the very small kids in a safe manner because they need that kind of interaction with their teachers.”