Posted: Friday, May 14, 2021. 2:37 pm CST.
By Aaron Humes: This week, our colleagues at PGTV trekked west to one of the most remote villages in Belize’s south, San Benito Poite, 50 miles from Punta Gorda Town next door to the Guatemalan border.
The village Roman Catholic school is one of many that re-opened this week despite the twin worries of COVID-19 and the teacher’s strike.
This village is a world away from the Old Capital or even the new one: it has no access to cellphone signal, internet, nor electricity or other fuel sources aside from the few solar panels.
But on Monday morning, May 10, the kids were in order, bright and early and excited to get back to learn.
School administrator Domingo Teck told PGTV’s Wil Maheia: “I notice that the students are really excited, they were here bright and early, and they were here, they were ready, just that we are following the protocols of the COVID 19 and our school have a system of staggering time to begin classes. It is working well, we begin different categories with different timings and it’s working well.”
While a majority (five) of eight teachers at the school reported to work, Teck says the management is in solidarity with the Belize National Teachers’ Union (BNTU): in this case, the announcement of re-opening was too late to adhere to the Union’s closedown order which the school otherwise follows.
Teck says he will work with the teachers that are there and hope to get his full staff back soon.
He said, “we give them the regular work we are trying to give them and from there we see what is left.”
And in this remote village, where natural beauty abounds, they may be off the grid, but the students want to be on the path to learning.
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