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December 30, 2021

PRIME MINISTER’S NEW YEAR’S ADDRESS: School reopening to go ahead; free secondary education to be implemented

Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2021. 11:12 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Prime Minister John Briceño has announced that there will be an expansion of the free secondary school initiative, hand in hand with the reopening of schools in January.

During his New Year’s Address, the Prime Minister said: “With the reopening of schools, the Ministry of Education will expand the free secondary school initiative which will start with four schools in southside Belize City as a part of our education upliftment project. The thrust of the ministry’s energy will be to recover the classroom time and lessons lost to the pandemic.”

In a previous interview, he emphasized the importance of schools staying open for good: “The schools have to open. We cannot run away from not opening schools. Our children are almost two years out of the classroom and we are doing a disservice to them and a disservice to the country because if they are not properly prepared, when they become adults, they will not be able to take over the helm of religion, of education, of business or governance so we have to get back to school. I don’t care what anybody has to say. I have my cousin who lives in the United States; her husband, both of them are Belizeans. One is a vice-principal of a primary school and the next one is a principal of a primary school. He says they have been open over a year ago. What they found out is that for the first two, three weeks, they would see a spike of COVID, but right after that it flattens and then you just continue to monitor and ensure that as soon as somebody seems to be sick or having a cough, you do the testing and then you send them home for proper monitoring. So it is not a matter if; it is a matter that we have to open schools.”


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