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Aug 27, 2020

The Belize Education Experience During the Pandemic

The FOPREL meeting is to define strategic actions to ensure that educational systems are strengthened to guarantee safe and inclusive access for all students. So, as a part of the knowledge exchange session, each member country spoke about their experiences navigating education during the pandemic. Minister of Education Patrick Faber represented Belize in FOPREL’s virtual meeting. In his presentation, Faber spoke on the challenges and way forward for education in Belize.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Education has been hit very hard here in Belize. While we haven’t had incidents of cases transmitted within schools while school was open – the pandemic because it has hit us so hard and because of school closure we have lost tremendously the face to face contact with our students.  Almost a third of our country’s population is school age. Belize has a young population so this hits us hard. Internet and cell-phone coverage are very limited in rural and remote areas of the country where we lack that kind of access. In urban areas there is great internet service but of course it is sometimes costly to families. So, that poses a problem. Eighty percent of our schools are owned by churches. I think this is a scenario that is a bit different from what exists in the region and this diminishes our capacity to provide educational resources to some of our schools.  We are excited about the new transitions, new transformations. It is a new time and we are struggling with these things but of course as it relates to learning by digital platform is something that I think is long overdue. And the circumstance in this respect of COVID-19 has helped us to push even further than we would have normally if there was no situation with COVID-19.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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