While many openings are being restricted, pre, primary and secondary schools will have their own kind of opening. Pre and primary will open on September the 7th but there will be no face to face instruction, distance learning only. The Minister explained:

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

"This afternoon I am proposing that we attempt to start in terms of the re-opening of schools for distance education only on Monday, September 7th, 2020. Again, this is for distance only for pre-schools and primary schools. For secondary schools, we are proposing the date of Monday, October 5th. These proposed dates are for distance education only. The official start date for those students approved for doing home-schooling is Monday, September 7th."

"So, what do we mean when we say distance only? For pre and primary schools, this distance education means that we will primarily focus on paper-based learning so that pre and primary school teachers will develop learning activities and assignments for students based on the school's curriculum and available student text books. You know we have a free text book and workbook programme in the Ministry of Education and this is what they will use."

"Parents will be asked to pick up these items from the school or from a designated pick up point that is identified by the school that your child attends. Parents will return completed assignments and assessments to the school or to the designated drop off point identified by the school."


GOB Will Provide Tablets For Secondary Schools

And while that paper solution is the plan for primary school distance learning, the plan for secondary schools is much more ambitious. It involves the acquisition of computer tablets for students, and teaching their teachers how to conduct remote learning on mobile platforms. A giant leap, and it has to be made by early October. Here's the broad outline:

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

"At the secondary level, which we have indicated will reopen Monday, October 5th; distance education will be done primarily online. The Ministry of Education will be distributing digital learning devices and electronic text books to all secondary school students who not have access to those resources. The Ministry is also working with the Belize Telemedia Limited to identify suitable arrangements for secondary school students who are currently without internet connectivity so that they can have access to their school's online resources. The Ministry of Education will be sourcing digital devices that will be shared with those students who don't have access. At this point we are able to for that time of October 5th, I believe we can source an initial minimum of about 8,000 digital devices that students who dont have a device, don't have connectivity will be able to utilize. Those who have such devices will be able to use their own devices to access online learning. The month of September, secondary school teachers will received training in online teaching and the use of digital platforms. They are also expected to develop online lessons, learning activities and assignments for the subjects that they teach. The devices will be procured over this time before school reopens and once there is the need of a student to have one of these devices, they can make the arrangements through their schools. We have not really decided whether the students will own the device just yet and there may be a minimal cost to load the textbooks. But what this means is that cost of having text books that are now three, four, five hundred dollars in some cases will be brought to a minimum and you will get this devices for your usage, you will also get it loaded. We are aiming to load it with about 5 core text books; math, English, Spanish boob maybe, so that once you have this device this business about buying these expensive text books will be brought to a minimum."

Channel 7