Perhaps one of the most important fact in all this information, is that the parents will need to adjust as there will be no exceptions for students when the schools reopen. While the ministry explained that it is not a decision to be made unilaterally by them, the current education system does not cater to a fully online learning strategy.
Diane Mehia, CEO, Ministry of Education: “ That’s a question that in fairness I don’t think the ministry should answer on its own because remember that we also have general managers who helped the running of the schools. What I want to emphasize is the flexibility that we’ve had so far in preparing. The time with which we’ve been moving through which we’ve been moving to try to get everything ready here. We work very closely with our partners. We work with the Ministry of Health and Wellness on a regular basis you know we keep in close dialogue with all the community members, their general managers, the BNTU these are groups that we stay engaged with. The decisions that we’ve made we have not made lately, we’ve not made them rashly, they’ve not been spurred of the moment flying off the handle you know “we woke up this morning and we decided this is what needs to be done”, we’ve really been very careful here.”
The Ministry of Education explained that they are aware and concerned over the increase in infection rates, but that there is an urgent need to adapt and move on.
Diane Mehia, CEO, Ministry of Education: “We’ve looked at everything that’s happening across the world as well as hearing Belize and I really want to emphasize the fact that our goal is safety, is overall health. We know that what we’re looking at right now across the country yes we are as concerned as everyone else about the increased numbers right now. We recognize the fact that this new omicron variant is highly transmissible that’s not something that we can deny, it’s not something we can get away from but we can’t get away from this disease period. We keep moving and we need to have some semblance of stability and normalcy and we have to remember that while we do have families who are able to offer safe, supportive environments for children you know you do have some parents who will say ‘well my child is safe at home and I want my child to stay safe at home.’ we have many many children of all ages who do not have that luxury. You know they don’t have people at home who are keeping them safe, they don’t have people at home who are there to support them with their lessons. Your earlier question Ernesto that suggested well are we making sure that there is provision for online we can’t do that simply because we don’t have provision for online learning across this country. We have very many schools whose only recourse for distance learning is not unknown. It is in learning package, it’s printed material and we have many students who have not been really working with that material. Packages haven’t been picked up work hasn’t been happening so the reality is that we have to look at a much broader picture.“
CEO Maheia appeared on The Morning Show today.