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Ministry of Education greenlights reopening of schools despite third wave of COVID-19- says virus isn’t going anywhere

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Posted: Friday, October 1, 2021. 8:34 am CST.

By BBN Staff: Between August 1st and September 30th, there have been 6,517 new cases of COVID-19 and 77 deaths related to the virus; however, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology (MoECST) announced this week that some schools will reopen for hybrid learning, come October 4th.

The Ministry announced that the selection of the schools will be based on the criteria outlined on page 3 of the attached document entitled “Getting Back to School Safely: The MoECST’s Plan for a Safe Return”.

“If you believe that your school meets the criteria, you may complete and submit the form titled “Green Light Status for Return to Onsite Learning” available at https://www.moecst.gov.bz/online-services/green-light-status-for-return-to-onsite-learning/ and allow up to 24 hours for an official response from the MoECST,” the Ministry said.

Those schools who achieve greenlight status are expected to follow the Guidelines for School Operations for the 2021-2022 Academic Year and inform MoECST and the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MoHW) of any suspected COVID-19 cases using a prescribed reporting mechanism.

Schools were closed in March 2020 when the pandemic first arrived in Belize, and though reopening efforts were made towards the end of the 2020-2021 academic year, those efforts were met with limited if any success, due to industrial action by teachers and rising COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister john Briceno and Minister of Education Francis Fonseca, have stressed on numerous occasions that schools need to reopen, as Belize’s children are suffering academically and in many other ways from being out of class.

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