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Wednesday, February 1, 2023

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The new school year

LettersThe new school year

Dear Editor,

Please allow me a little space to share some thoughts regarding the upcoming school year in Belize.

After being shut in by the pandemic for more than two years, our children are now going to be heading back to school. This will be a challenging year both for students and teachers.

Our children, for the most part, have obviously missed out on learning throughout the pandemic. With that in mind, there will be the need for a coherent strategy to bring them up to speed. The challenge will be to simultaneously impart the current curriculum for the respective classes along with the aforementioned catching-up work. This will not be an easy task, but I believe our teachers can get it done.

Are Saturday classes out of the question? What about evening classes? What about a website organized by the Ministry of Education dedicated solely to help the children with school work for all grade levels? All hands should be on deck to find the best ideas to help move our children and, by extension, our country forward with a curriculum designed for the 21st century.

Being back in school after an extended absence will bring its own set of issues as it relates to the children. Our teachers will have to pack an extra bag of patience each day, and hopefully there will be counselors on hand to help with guiding our children along.

A critical component of this whole experience will be the parents. The role that our parents must play cannot be overstated. We all want to see the children succeed, and parents have a very critical role in making that happen. A constant (I get it, parents work and not all have the time) dialogue between parents and teachers is essential.

We have a huge challenge (though not insurmountable) ahead of us. Together, the students applying themselves, teachers performing at their optimum and parents keeping the door of communication with our teachers open, can get this done. The goals should include: good, civil and competent students; safe/healthy and congenial learning environments at school; and effective and efficient teachers.

Welcome back, students, teachers and parents! Good luck with the new school year.

Thank you.
J. Lewis

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