Recently, the Ministry of Education announced its intentions to reopen schools by August 10. That is a little over a month away, and in the midst of these trying times, schools (particularly primary schools) all over the country are scrambling to put the adequate procedures in place and set up the requisite infrastructure in order to meet the current standards brought on by the global pandemic, COVID-19.
Evidently, primary schools are strapped for cash, as the collection of tuition and fees ranges from sluggish, to non-existent. As a consequence, primary schools are facing difficult times and are currently engaged in a race against time to ensure that schools will be ready for the proposed August 10 reopening.
This requires that schools be properly equipped and outfitted with all the necessary infrastructure, and they must adhere to proper health practices and guidelines that are suitable for the times.
This goes to say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the schools are in dire need of aid and assistance. William J. Clinton wrote, and I quote: “If we want to invest in the prosperity of our nation, we must invest in the education of our children so that their talents may be fully employed.”
In these trying times of uncertainty, these words of Clinton are more timely and apt than ever. Primary schools all over the country are in urgent need of assistance and corporate partnerships in order to be ready, open, safe and fully functional in time for the re-opening of schools.
With Clinton’s quote in mind, I therefore make a humble plea to community members, business establishments and other organizations to heed the call, rise to the occasion and to reach out to your former school, the school in your community, a school in need— and lend a helping hand.
Education is a partnership between community and stakeholders, and only when everyone pitches in to do their part, will education progress, thus developing our nation and in turn, paying lucrative returns and dividends in the future.
Let us come together and pitch in, and partner with a school so as to ensure the safety, security and efficiency of education while simultaneously affording our children the opportunity for their talents to be fully employed.
God Bless Belize.
Rudolph A. Neal