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#386863 - 09/02/10 01:58 PM School is in!!!!!
Marty Online   happy

Nothing Like The First Day

In a way, summer is a like a wave pulled all the way out to sea, and the first day of school is like that wave released in an enormous gush, crashing unto the shore all at once.

That was what happened today at schools all across Belize as students returned with crisply creased uniforms, sparkling white socks, screechy sneakers and all the hopes that come with any renewal.

Monica Bodden found out how it was going at St. Joseph 's Primary.

Monica Bodden, Reporting
It's the first day of school and for the Principal of St Joseph Primary School, it should be one of the most important days of the new school year for her students.

Gloricila Torres - Principal of St Joseph School
"The first day of school should be a happy day for our students because what you put in for the first day the children will never forget so we encourage our teachers to ensure that they have a beautiful classroom to welcome our children especially newcomers coming in to the infants as well that they will never forget their first day of classes."

There was a plan set in place this morning which made things much easier for parents to find their child's classroom.

Gloricila Torres - Principal of St. Joseph School
"We had a school plan, it was a plan where the parents can look at the plan of the building and they knew exactly where the building were, where the classes were and every teacher was requires to put their list up so that when the parents come in they know exactly where to check for the names of the children so that they know which class the child belongs."

These are the students of Infant 1 - class 1 - at St Joseph Primary School - they have just graduated from kindergarten and now it's their first day at a big school.

Monica Bodden
"Now you care to tell me how is your first day at school?"

Edgwin Harry
"Good."

Monica Bodden
"What did you do today?"

Edgwin Harry, Student
"Color a book and play games."

Monica Bodden
"What kind of games you played today?"

Edgwin Harry
"Singing games."

Monica Bodden
"You learned any new song? I heard you singing just now, did you learn anything? Any new song?"

Edgwin Harry
"Yes ma'am."

Monica Bodden
"Wanna sing one for me?"

Edgwin Harry
"Yes ma'am."

Monica Bodden
"Which one you are going to sing?"

Edgwin Harry
"Humpty Dumpty."

Monica Bodden
"Let me hear you sing humpty dumpty."

Edgwin Harry
"Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, humpty dumpty had a great fall, all the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put humpty dumpty back together again."

Even with 31 classrooms - the principal says they are fully enrolled.

Gloricila Torres - Principal of St. Joseph School
"The enrolment we had; we had children coming in this morning asking for a space. The space is very limited. It's a highly demanded school, we wish that we could help every parent that comes out of my office with a space but the spaces are not available."

Monica Bodden
"How many new students you guys have for this new school year?"

Gloricila Torres - Principal of St. Joseph School
"Roughly about 35 new ones who came in and some of them still coming in, we are waiting for their arrivals since they were away on trips."

Monica Bodden
"Well last year the enrolment was 917 and with 35 that should give us more, by Friday I should know more or less how many children we have in our school."

Here we are at a Standard 3 classroom -the students are all getting ready for a funeral. That's right - a funeral at school.

Class teacher Maria Pech - conducted an activity with her students called an "I Can't" Funeral.

Here's how it works: On a small piece of paper these youngsters each wrote down on thing they think they cannot do. When that was finished it was collected in this small box and then the students all set off into the schoolyard to bury them.

Monica Bodden
"Now Courtney tell me what you guys are actually doing at this time."

Courtney Matus - Student, St Joseph Primary School
"We are burying our 'I cant's'."

Monica Bodden
"Tell me a little bit about that? What did the class do to get all the "I can't" in that box."

Courtney Matus - Student, St Joseph Primary School
"Ok, well all we said about 'I can't' from last year what we couldn't do so we write it down on a piece of paper and we went to bury it."

Monica Bodden
"What was your 'I Can't?'"

Courtney Matus - Student, St Joseph Primary School
"I can't stop biting my nails."

And there is a new initiative on the agenda for St Joseph School. It's called Reach one - Teach one.

Gloricila Torres - Principal of St. Joseph School
"One thing we like to incorporate this coming school year; we want to ensure that our parents, our teachers, our students and the community at large be involve in a program that says 'reach one, teach one' whereby if you can read you can get somebody who maybe is not up to mark where you can help that child. So imagine if you reach one and you teach one, at the end of the year we'll have 100% literacy at St. Joseph School."

So far the school has 952 students.

Channel 7


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#386973 - 09/03/10 02:45 PM Re: School is in!!!!! [Re: Marty]
Marty Online   happy

Back To School!

But Not All Children are as Privileged

Itís Back to School time! Summer vacations are over and most children are either moving up another grade in school or just starting of their educational career for the first time whether they are freshmen in high school or first years in the primary schools. Whichever the case may be, classes have commenced and here in San Pedro we are faced with a few minor problems which include (i) no space available at schools for children (ii) children not enrolled at schools and lastly (iii) the need of more classrooms/schools.

Every year a great number of children are seen roaming around the streets and not attending school as they should and according to Education Officer for San Pedro Town & Caye Caulker, Ms. Candy Armstrong, the Education Law states that children between the ages of 5 and 14 should be enrolled at school to receive a primary education.

Space availability in schools is always an issue; here in San Pedro there are a total of eight school, three of which are grant aided schools (public schools) which are always full to capacity. One of the major factors that contribute to schools being full and no space available is the fact that San Pedro is a growing town; more people from outer district and other countries are coming to the island and making it their home bringing along their families.

With more people coming there is the need of expansion and development; the island is need of more schools, both a primary and high school. Parents are encouraged to be responsible and register their children on time and in the case of transfers from one school to another there is a proper and legal process to do so. By not following the proper transfers process one hinders the process of space availability.

Ms. Armstrong did state the fact that there is a need for another primary school and high school which will help with the problem. On the bright side of things Hon. Manuel Heredia publicly announced that he has found a piece of land south of the island for the construction of a government school. He also promised that by the end of his governance term the project would have been completed. Hopefully this becomes a reality and this problem of children being out of school or space availability comes to an end.

Ambergris Today


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