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May 13, 2009

Students leave classrooms for Education expos countrywide

Story PictureThe spotlight was on standard-one students on Tuesday as measurements for the National Height Census were taken among children between the ages of six and nine. The results of that census are still to be determined but today, students from some preschools right through to high schools were away from their classrooms and headed to the Memorial Park for an Educational Expo. The activities are organized by District Education Centers and were held countrywide. It’s all a part of the activities for Education Week 2009, which officially opened on Sunday. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting
Memorial Park was colourful and energetic as one of the biggest activities for Education Week, an academic expo, kicked off. The displays included community policing, health organizations and of course educational booths.

Candy Armstrong, Literacy Coordinator, C-CETT Belize
“Out here today we just have a display of books and different interactive activities that would promote reading and writing within schools. The children who have been visiting the booths are just looking at books and different types of books; looking at them, reading them, promoting reading for enjoyment.”

Anthony Castillo, President, Belize Diabetes Association
”What we’re doing this morning, as a part of this educational expo, we’re speaking to the children about diabetes. As you may know, diabetes is one of the current diseases which is on the increase in the country. We try to educate and inform our children about this condition and at the same time, we want to do a few testing as well; screening for diabetes. We found it alarming that recently, while doing our testing, we found quite a number of children with higher levels of glucose in their blood.”

One of the most elaborate displays was put off by the Early Childhood Education and Development Center, who worked in collaboration with the different preschools.

Margaret Williams, Education Officer, Early Childhood Education
“What we have out here is basically what we do at the preschool unit. If you notice over that side we have a preschool center that is set up where the children come in and they get their skills that they need. Teachers are there to facilitate. We have here the curriculum that we use, we have a level one and a level two and all the other things that goes along with the curriculum. We have the activity books that we use for the four year old. Our focus though has been working with the parents to see how we could get them to become more aware of how important it is to get the children started early in terms of their education.”

Even with the task of organizing the events, the District Education Center found time to organize a booth of their own.

Norma Mortis, Education Officer, Belize Dist. Education Center
”Well, basically we displayed the festival of arts and expressive arts area, which is coordinated by Mr. Leroy Green. We have the H.F.L.E. coordinator, Ms. Murillo, who is also depicting some of her work. And we have the Teacher’s License, the process and example of what that’s all about and what needs to be done and we are giving out some brochures basically with general school services.”

Lurleen Betson-Gamboa, Asst. Education Officer, Dist. Education Center
”For today’s event we’re hoping to educate the public as to the different things we do within the different units that we have because many times people may come to one unit when they belong at another one. One of the obstacles was actually the timing with it because as we all know, because of the swine flu so we had some units who were pulling out last minute etcetera but all in all I must say that the turn out is excellent.”

And so were the performances by participating schools.

[Shots of performance...]

Delahnie Bain for News Five.


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