Belize's one hundred thousand primary school students are on a hyper - extended Easter straight through to summer break, but it could end in the first week of September. That's when school would have normally started - and it is now an aspirational date for opening after an explosion in the number of COVID cases forced the postponement of the August 10th opening date.

The Minister of Education explained at yesterday's press conference:

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

"Quite frankly right now, we're thinking about a two or three week delay if we can get this thing under control, and that the school year will start, as was to be scheduled, according to the Education Act, the first week in September. I am hesitant to make that announcement, but that is really what we have in mind. In the areas with increased or confirmed community spread, school reopening may be further delayed, while in areas with low risks or no apparent community spread, schools will be allowed to open for face to face instruction. Some may ask why is it that the ministry would even decide to open schools during the COVID 19 pandemic and for that, we are saying that, we remind people, that schools have been closed since march 20th of this year and this has left over a hundred thousand Belizean students out of school for a very extended period of time. These prolonged periods without schooling can have detrimental and long-term persons, social and economic effects. And since there is no way to tell when the pandemic will be over, or if it will, if or when the situation will get worse, it is best to open schools at times and in areas when there is a low rate of infection or no community spread. We're saying as well that teachers and school administrators ought to return to school and to continue the preparation for whenever school re-opens and at the same time ought to be working on school continuity plans. We're on the summer break but once school re-opens and especially if school does not re-open, we will need to provide instruction for our children that is home based, that is what we mean by continuity plan."

And a press release from the BNTU says much the same. It tells teachers, "you are to report to work to continue preparations for the eventual opening of school doors." end quote.

And, in a rare showing of Ministerial gratitude, the BNTU says that it noted with "grateful hearts" the Minister's announcement to postpone the August 10th opening of school.

Channel 7