By Aaron Humes: Like much of Belizean life, education was severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools were suspended on March 20 and never re-opened, as students turned to online and distance learning. The Primary School Examination (PSE) was not held for the first time in its history, and scaled back versions of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) were held in July and August. Starting in January, students taking these examinations will be able to attend limited in-person classes, though this is subject to review.
In the area of trade unions and civil society, the National Trade Union Congress of Belize (NTUCB) flexed its muscle earlier in the year with a protest march and call to political and social reform. Later, it threw its support behind the Christian Workers’ Union (CWU) led by “Mose” Hyde, as stevedores and office workers at the Port of Belize faced down their employers.
The National Student Union of Belize (NSUB) and University of Belize Faculty and Staff Union (UBFSU) both joined the trade union movement as well.
And a quick word here on the volatile weather, which saw one hurricane (Nana, in September) and other systems impact our shores, mostly with rainfall. The arrivals of Hurricanes Eta and Iota in November brought inundating floods to much of the country, costing hundreds of millions (estimated) in dollars of damage.
The season was the most active on record with a record number of named storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes.