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Jul 14, 2022

A Digi WiFi Expansion Project for Schools in Belize

Today, at the Edward P. Yorke High School a multimillion-dollar agreement was signed between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology and Digi for the expansion of wifi to approximately two hundred schools across the country, particularly institutions in rural communities. The idea is to bridge the digital divide in the country and for these children to be connected when at schools as well as for better access for teachers. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“The future of education as you all would appreciate is technology. We have to embrace it. There is a serious crisis in our country in terms of digital divide, especially in our rural communities where our young people do not have access to reliable adequate internet services. So this is start of addressing that very serious problem.”

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

It is with that in mind that the Ministry of Education is joining forces with Digi for a wifi expansion project for schools across the country. It is a human and economic development issue that needs technological investments. Education Minister Francis Fonseca says that the revolutionary project is costing approximately two point five million dollars.

 

Francis Fonseca

“Well this initial phase will cost us around two point five million dollars, around two hundred schools will be affected. But we are really fast tracking it; we are trying to make sure that between now and December we deal with these two hundred schools. And one of the issues as I’ve mentioned was listen we have a lot of schools, we talk about being connected, but when you go to the school you find out that it is the principal’s office that has internet or the teachers’ lounge or teachers’ room or the teachers’ lab that has internet. But the classrooms don’t have internet, the campus don’t have internet. And we want a Belize and an education system where the students have access to the internet wherever they are on campus, wherever they are at school; in their classrooms of course it has to be. So that’s the whole objective behind this project.”

 

Forty percent of the schools are from the urban setting while majority, sixty-percent are primarily in rural communities. Aside from Digi, the Ministries of E-Governance and Finance are involved in seeing the project through to fruition.

 

Michel Chebat

Michel Chebat, Minister of E-Governance

“This is part of our digitalization plan and it is important for us to bring technology to all of the country, especially to our schools, so this is an important step for us.”

 

Christopher Coye

Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Finance

“To elevate both teaching by our teachers and learning by our students in order to empower them and enable real opportunities for better future in these challenging times.”

 

Ivan Tesecum, C.E.O., Digi

“Our national telecom, Digi, continues to offer far more than traditional telecommunication services. Today, we witness another momentous occasion in the history of Digi made possible by a shared vision under PlanBelize, the Government of Belize and te Ministry of Education to enhance the quality of educational services and the education sector of our country. With much excitement, we celebrate the launch of ConnectED, in other words Connect Education, a digi wifi expansion project for schools in Belize in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology.”

 

C.E.O. in the Ministry of Education Dian Maheia says that ConnectED is the culmination of months of sustained effort and negotiations.

 

Dian Maheia

Dian Maheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“A lot of thinking, a lot of trying to figure out how do we move forward. Minister Fonseca clearly laid out the position of our schools in the country. And so we really made an effort to try to see how we could come out with a solution and where we are today is a far cry from where we were months ago.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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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