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Aug 4, 2021

E-learning on the Way but no E-books Just Yet

Francis Fonseca

The People’s United Party campaigned on several platforms ahead of the November 2020 general elections; one of them is to strengthen the education sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  While the Ministry of Education has been working to shift from physical textbooks to electronic learning material, it will not be introducing e-books this coming school year.  What it has been doing is partnering with Digi to ensure that remote learning can be made easier for students using electronic devices.


Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“That was something we announced even before we took office.  That was an important plank in our education Plan Belize agenda.  E-books, E-textbooks and so as soon as we got into office we began working on that, reaching out to our international partners whom we believe can support us in that regard.  So that is ongoing, that won’t be ready of course for this school year, for this August, but it’s something that certainly will be ready for next year.  We are working on it in an aggressive way.  We’ve been working with BTL, Digi Cell in particular, to address that very issue.  So we’ve identified over the past few months about twenty communities that had particular challenges in terms of internet access in rural communities and they have been working and addressing that issue.  It is not completed, some of have been completed but it’s an ongoing work, an ongoing challenge.  So we are addressing that issue.  In terms of devices, again, we, as you know, there was a project in place that provided devices for many of our schools.  We have continued that program and we’ve tried to expand it a little wherever we have finance for the provision of digital devices, we use those and identify our students who do not have access to those devices and try to provide them.  So it’s an ongoing challenge, it’s continuous work but our district education centers are on the job.  They are working with schools to identify those young people and try as best as we can to identify those problems.”

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