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One year after pandemic forces lockdown, 55 schools in Belize re-open for face-to-face instruction

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Posted: Monday, April 12, 2021. 2:41 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma2: Today, 55 schools in Belize re-opened for face-to-face classes after being closed for a little over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those schools include Pre, Primary and High Schools that have been approved by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology to re-open.

The Ministry says that the phased-in return to face-to-face instruction has begun the process of preparing to have students back on campus.

Since the announcement was made on March 24, 211 schools have applied to be part of the phased-in return.

The Ministry says that 61 schools applied to return on April 12 and 161 schools have applied to return on May 10.

Fifty-five of those schools have been visited by their district education centers (DEC), who have verified the schools’ readiness for approval to be granted to them.

“These verification visits from the DECs are ongoing to ensure that all schools are ready for the safe return of teachers and students. The remaining six schools in this first group will be returning in May for various reasons,” the Ministry noted.

Parents, students, and educators will note that schools will have varied approaches.

“Schedules will differ and so will the groups of students who will be coming back for shorter periods of time. All managements and administrations have been asked to be mindful of economic constraints and to not place unnecessary demands on students and their families,” the Ministry added.

The Ministry says that it is working with the approved schools to put in place the requisite school bus runs and school feeding programs so that, step by step, the needs of all students can be addressed as best as possible.

In addition, the re-opening in April or May is optional for schools since they are being given the opportunity to put into action their Learning Continuity Plans and to begin assessing students to bridge academic gaps.

The Ministry encourages all teachers to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

These efforts are in preparation for a return to the classroom for all schools for the coming academic year 2021-2022.

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