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Dec 2, 2020

Minister Dr. Louis Zabaneh Speaks on Education Issues

On November twenty-second, Chief Education Officer Doctor Carol Babb sent out a memo informing teachers that they would be allowed to work from home and conduct online classes until the end of the school year.  This is something that the Belize National Teachers Union was clamoring for and it was the new administration who agreed with the B.N.T.U.  Another term that Education Minister Francis Fonseca and Minister of State Doctor Louis Zabaneh agreed on was to give teachers an extra week of vacation.  He says that the teachers have earned it.  As for the students, who are at home learning, Doctor Zabaneh says that recent reports show that there is a high level of stress. 


Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Education

“Well we have made a determination certainly up to the beginning of the new year. We made that determination but we are accessing in these weeks again and it is something as we go along and we are getting more information we are getting more information we are making decision. So we have made at least decision to ensure that teachers get their additional week of vacation. It was initially cut back from three weeks to two weeks and we, Minister Fonseca and myself and the leadership team decided that it would be best for them to get their additional week for us to show our gratitude for the hard work and the recognition that they have been under stress since this whole COVID as much people of this country have been and they certainly deserve that week. We also made the decision that they could continue to work from home up to the end of this school year with coming into schools on Monday to bring their paper documents and exchanging it with parents. So far that is the decision that we have made and we continue to look at the situation and deciding what is the best path going forward.”


Louis Zabaneh

Hipolito Novelo

“Do you know minister if there has been any recent assessment, before elections I would imagine, in terms of how the students are doing out of school, at homeschooling?”


Dr. Louis Zabaneh

“Yes we have asked that question and some of our head of units have reported to us that there is a high level of stress compared to obviously during normal times. That includes many parents who have not been exposed or not comfortable yet with online learning that is why we have the paper approach for them to be able to use that throughout if they can’t use the online technology but overall yes. And you can read that it is an international problem that we are seeing that students are stressed with this new modality. It is a big change. They are not seeing their friends at school and they have to adjust to being at home and the parents are not used to that. So we have to look at the psychological impact of these changes and to empathize with all concern in this new life that we are living.”

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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