The Ministry of Education still has October four as the day when face to face classes should resume. That’s five days from tonight and given the continued rise of COVID-19 numbers and deaths, parents are questioning whether it is the right time to resume face to face learning. When we asked President of the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU), Elena Smith about it on Tuesday, she told us that the Union has not received an update but given the rise in daily numbers and positivity rate, it is highly unlikely. However, when we asked Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Louis Zabaneh about it today he said the date for schools reopening has not changed, at least not yet.
Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Culture: “We are working hard preparing with our stakeholders. So we’re doing everything as if though we are going to be opening on Monday. Now the Ministry we go by the advice from the Ministry of Health so if they were to come to us and tell us that based on their expert advice we would not be able to open or we’ll have to postpone well that is something we will follow because we follow the recommendations of the experts. Thus far all seems a go for Monday and that’s what we’re preparing for.
Reporter: Do you know what the parents are saying ? The teachers, the BNTU are saying because they’re concerned now that we hit the third wave and the delta variant is running rampant
Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Culture: “Well you know we’re in close contact with our teachers and with the BNTU and in fact they have been giving their inputs into what they believe is necessary for a safe environment so this is a holistic effort.”
Naturally, parents and teachers will be concerned for the students’ safety, especially since the Delta variant is said to target the youth population. Dr. Zabaneh says, however, that all measures are being taken to keep the students safe.
Dr.Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Culture: “There is no hundred percent fool proof environment if you wish. We’re doing our very best because we know that our children have lost so much over the last year and a half due to COVID that have had to stay home and especially the children from homes that might not even have access to the internet etc are way way behind. So we’re doing the best. It’s a concerted community, country effort if you will to make sure that our school environment, that all these environments are safe. Our teachers are prepared to do what’s necessary and the parents work with us as well to ensure that at home that they’re doing the best that they can as well. So all of us have to work together but in life we can’t guarantee anything we just do the very best that we can.”