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Nov 4, 2022

Schools Clean Up Ahead of Monday Reopening

Classes across the country are scheduled to resume on Monday, according to the Minister of Education. Today, a number of schools in Belize City had their teaching staff and students report to school to assist in cleanup efforts. At least three high schools in the city have reported some form of damage to their structures. At Belize Elementary School and the Belize High School on Princess Margaret Drive, there is some uncertainty for over two hundred and fifty students as Monday approaches.  News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Several schools across Belize City suffered damages to their structures during Hurricane Lisa. Canaan SDA High school reported damage to their roof, and so did Excelsior High school.  Over at Belize Elementary School and Belize High school the destruction is substantial. Contractors have now declared one of their buildings unusable.


Jamie Usher

Jamie Usher, Principal, Belize High school

“Our security messaged about three o’clock on storm day and it was definitely hard to read, Ms. Jaime the roof just flew off. There is no words to say what goes along with that and the fact that Belizeans in Belize City are dealing with that is what makes this an all around catastrophe.”


Across from the high school, the rooftop for the upper division of the elementary school was completely ripped off by the winds. Today, students, teachers, and staff members came together to carry out their cleanup efforts. For the elementary building, this included rappelling classroom furniture from the third floor to the ground floor, bagging damaged books and other school supplies, and cleaning out the water left behind by the rains. On the ground floor inside the damaged high school building, students were removing debris and mopping the floors.


Jamie Usher

“As you know a lot of student’s across the globe just came through a very tumultuous period of learning. So, there is an anxiety that has come across as to what it will take to get back in the classroom. So, that is where we are doing our best to keep the learning going. We don’t want to go back to online learning, and so the commitment here is to make sure we are back in class as soon as possible.”


And today, while touring schools to get a firsthand look at the destruction, Prime Minister John Briceño stopped in to greet the students at Belize High School.  He brought cheerful laughter to the students at work and spent some time talking with Principal Usher, before taking a group photo.


Jamie Usher

“A lot of people might not know, but one of his sons actually graduated from Belize High School, so we have always had a good relationship in terms of our potential and capacity. One of the things he is able to appreciate is that as an independent school funded by parents it is working in partnership with the government. We are saving money that could have gone to another public school to help out in other situations. So, he stopped by and he promised to work with us to rebuild, to help our students get back in class and continue the learning.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

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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