Posted: Friday, November 19, 2021. 2:49 pm CST.
By Benjamin Flowers: This week, St. Vincent Pallotti Roman Catholic School in Unitedville, Cayo District, inaugurated two new classrooms bringing a project done in collaboration with private donors to fruition.
Principal Luis Oliva Sr. said that the new classrooms and recently completed bathroom facilities at the school were a signal that the school is ready to fully reopen.
“We are now in a position if today, next week, next year the Ministry [of education] says it’s time to reopen for face-to-face classes, we are ready to do so,” Oliva said.
Area Representative Julius Espat and Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Louis Zabaneh, attended the inauguration ceremony of the classrooms.
The classroom project was valued around, $60,000 and took 2 months to complete. The work was done by volunteer students coming from the US, with guidance of different contractors hired by the donor organization.
Oliva noted that the school had been struggling with space for years, and that not having the capacity to properly serve the community caused a situation where children from the village had to travel to other villages to be able to attend school. This was until a parent who had recently transferred their child made the connection with a group in the United States to launch the project.
The multi-grade school, which now caters to 220 children at all primary school grade levels, is the only school in the area which has a computer science program, and that plans are in the works to open a pre-school to better serve the community.
Oliva stressed that the overall goal is to upgrade the facilities to the point where the school moves from being multi-grade to a standard school system, stressing that substantial work has already been done with improving the school’s academic performance.
Within four years, the school has gone from having the worst national performance in the Primary School Examination (PSE) to completely moving out of the failing bracket. The school also earned champion status in the last Coca Cola National Spelling Bee that was held before the pandemic hit.
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