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Jun 28, 2000

Consepcion gets new school building

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The plague of cramped classrooms hasn’t missed a Belizean school yet. The latest sighting has been reported in the Corozal District. For the past year, the students of the Concepcion Presbyterian Primary School have been struggling to learn their one, two, threes and ABCs over the din of a typical day at school where all the classrooms are in one building. But someone somewhere heard their pleas and by September things should be a lot more quiet.

Jacqueline Woods, Reporting

The school year may be coming to a close, but already one primary school is thinking ahead to the start of the new school year. Presently work is being done on the Concepcion Presbyterian Primary School building in the Corozal District. The existing structure has become far too small for the staff and students. So with the help of missionaries from the Presbyterian Church of America, four new classrooms are being built.

Esther Mendez, Principal, Concepcion Presbyterian Primary

“The overcrowding is a lot because in Infant One and Beginners, that is one classroom, we have thirty-three kids in Infant One plus nineteen Beginners so that is a whole lot of children in one classroom. Then we have Standard One and Standard Two together, plus Three and Four together, so we do need classrooms for us to divide them, so that each class can have a classroom of their own.”

There is a partition that separates the classrooms, but as you can imagine, that does not help to create an environment conducive to learning. The construction is being done in phases by different groups of missionaries. This week’s group is responsible for mixing cement, laying blocks and putting in steel.

Jonathan Gardiner, Presbyterian Church of America

“We are here to help the people because in the states we have so much. We have these wonderful beautiful school buildings and we come here and these people need just as much education as we do in the states. So we are here to help them build the school so they can learn.”

“It’s been fun, it’s a lot different from the U.S the weather is a little warmer, the people are very nice. We find it has been a good experience so far we’ve only been here for three days.”

The volunteers don’t have any experience in construction work, but that didn’t stop these teenagers, teachers, dentists and concerned individuals, who have decided to take a week off to do some charity work for the church. The building is expected to be finished by September.

New volunteers will be arriving every week to work on the building. Over hundred students attend the Concepcion Presbyterian Primary School.

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