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#498469 - 11/30/14 04:03 AM $1.2 million for new school in San Pedro
Marty Offline

For years, residents of Ambergris Caye have been requesting the construction of another primary school on the island. According to residents, there are insufficient classrooms to meet the demands of the islandís growing population, and in most cases, the existing classrooms are congested. But that will soon be addressed, as the Government of Belize has approved funding for the construction of a government primary school on the island.

According Area Representative for Belize Rural South Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., the funds were approved by the Prime Minister of Belize Hon. Dean Barrow during a Cabinet meeting. A total of $1.2 million has been approved for the facility, but it does not include the acquisition of land. According to Heredia, the GOB through the Ministry of Education, and working along with the San Pedro Town Council has identified a parcel of land in the Sea Grape Drive Area. While the land has been identified, Heredia said that they are working on the best possible way to acquire the land, since it is privately owned.

Currently there is no Government School on the island, since all are either private or church-run/grant aided school. When the new school is completed, it will address the current need of the island by providing much-needed placement for children that cannot currently attend school. It will also help minimize congestion in some of the existing schools. In addition, because it will be a Government school (public school), it will target those that cannot afford going to a grant aided or private school.

Currently San Pedro has a total of three grant-in-aid and three private schools. It is estimated that about 200 students are unable to attend school either because there is not sufficient space or for financial reasons.

While he could not say the source of the funds, Hon. Heredia explained that the construction of the school is within the mandate given to him by his electorates, as promised in his manifesto in the last general election. If the land is acquired and all goes as planned, it is expected that the school could be ready to open its doors for the next school year in September 2015.

San Pedro Sun

#498471 - 11/30/14 05:09 AM Re: $1.2 million for new school in San Pedro [Re: Marty]
CaptOneIron Offline
Everybody raise their hands that believes there is even a remote chance that the school will open by September 2015.
Captain One Iron

#498473 - 11/30/14 05:51 AM Re: $1.2 million for new school in San Pedro [Re: Marty]
elbert Offline
"According Area Representative" is the key to this story, the election is in March and this fodder originated from the person needing to get elected.
The Dive Shops Daily Blog

#498488 - 11/30/14 07:26 PM Re: $1.2 million for new school in San Pedro [Re: elbert]
BeBelize Offline
"While he could not say the source of the funds..."

Huh!? confused
Former Belize expat traveling the USA & Mexico

#514331 - 06/12/16 05:12 AM Re: $1.2 million for new school in San Pedro [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

No island Government School for the new school year starting in September 2016

Itís been two years since Area Representative for Belize Rural South (BRS) Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., promised the opening of a government school. There have been no signs of construction, and it seems likely that San Pedro will not have a government school this fall, despite the on-going requests by many island residents. There are a total of three grant-aided, three private schools, and no established government school on Ambergris Caye.

In November 2014, the Government of Belize approved funding for the construction of a government primary school on the island and a total of $1.2 million has been approved for the facility, which does not include the acquisition of land. Now that funds are allocated, some question why itís taking long to build a government school. In Volume #25, Issue 6, The San Pedro Sun quotes BRS Area Representative Heredia, who indicated he was still working towards the establishment of a government school. He also indicated that a parcel of land had been identified in the Sea Grape Drive Area, directly across the Bowen and Bowen Distribution Center located on Blake Street. He proposed that the government school would be open for the 2016-2017 school year. Upon inspection, the land in question shows no signs of construction, and no visible developments have been made.

The San Pedro Sun reached out to relevant authorities to confirm if San Pedro will be getting a new school building for the 2016-2017 school year, and our calls to Heredia went unanswered. On March 14, 2016 San Pedro Education Officer Nelma Jones confirmed that there were plans for the construction of two government schools on the northern part of the island. However, in a recent phone interview with Jones, she stated that she has not received further information for the implementation of the proposed school. ďThere is an intent for a government school, but I donít see that materializing for this upcoming school year. However, those matters are discussed at ministerial level, and has not reached to the technical level. Once those plans are finalized, the head of the Ministry of Education will be the first one to be notified, and then I will be informed of it,Ē said Jones.

Since the 18.3 million dollar education reform project was granted by Caribbean Development Bank, many people across the country have benefited from the funds, and new schools have been built. They are: Belmopan-Kuxlin-Ha Preschool and Primary School, Toldeo- Santa Cruz New Government Primary School, Stann Creek-Trio Preschool and Primary School. On June 8th, the Ministry of Education sent out a press release which indicated that over 930 students Belize City/Belize District will soon benefit from the renovation and extension project at Gwen Lizarraga High School in Belize City.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

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