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Jun 22, 1999

New education center for Orange Walk

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Orange Walk Town has a new district education headquarters. Luis Pook of CTV-3 in Orange Walk shows you the new building and speaks with Minister of Education Cordel Hyde about some of the district’s and the nation’s most pressing educational needs.

Luis Pook, CTV-3

“I am standing in front of the spanking new building which houses the offices of the Ministry of Education here in Orange Walk, including the offices for the District Education Officer, the Assistant Education Officers as well as other officials in the Ministry of Education.”

The new building, which stands at the corner of Independence and Manatee Streets, in the heart of the Belize rural area and will now be the headquarters for the Ministry was built with funding from the Primary Education Project.

The ceremony included presentations from primary school students and a blessing from Fr. De Casio of the La Immaculada Catholic Church.

Both the Minister of Education, Cordel Hyde and the Prime Minister Said Musa delivered keynote addresses to the distinguished guests including the Minister of Health Servulo Baeza and area representative of Orange Walk East Dave Burgos. They also cut the inaugural ribbon officially opening the building. Minister Hyde spoke about the need for students to prepare for life.

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education

“Reading is fundamental to learning; in fact reading is fundamental to life. If you can’t read you won’t go very far in school; chances are you won’t go very far in life.”

The Prime Minister emphasized his plans of making education more accessible for all throughout Belize.

Said Musa, Prime Minister

“Our goal is to give every young deserving Belizean who wants to study, who wants to go further, the opportunity to get a high school education. And not just a high school education to say that I have a secondary education certificate, but a high school education that will equip you with a skill preparing you for the world of work as the Minister was saying.”

Minister Hyde also spoke to us about his Ministry’s plans for expansion and outreach.

Cordel Hyde

“We are hoping that the services where normally people would have to go to Belmopan to receive will now be able to get here in a process that is called decentralization. We’re also seeking to expand secondary school coverage across the country, also in Orange Walk.

For example we have a situation where 5,200 students sat the B.N.S.E. this year. We have 30 high schools and if we assume that each one can take in a hundred kids this year, that’s only 3,000 of 5,200. So where does the other 2,200 go? So we are seeking to expand secondary school coverage.

I think Orange Walk Technical already has sort of an evening program and we’re hoping to expand that. And in Belize City we have about 5 different schools that will have shift systems. It will not be much different from day schools except in the times that it will be offered. We have a new high school in Ladyville; we have one in Toledo. We are expecting that another 800-900 students, who under normal circumstances would just be alienated, would be able to go to high school. We also have plans for a Center of Employment Training in every district including Orange Walk.”

Luis Pook

“A new building should mean new life for the Ministry in Orange Walk. We should see a vibrant and active education system in this district and we’ve been looking out for it. For CTV-3 this is Luis Pook.”

Although the Orange Walk District Education Headquarters was officially opened on the seventeenth of June, the offices were opened to the public from the second week in May.

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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