A project for the construction of a new school building that will address the severe over crowdedness in Bella Vista and San Isidro schools in the Toledo District was officially launched on Monday at the project site. According to Area Representative Peter Eden Martinez, it is an important milestone for the communities.
Peter Martinez – Area Representative, Toledo West
“It is important because it is an initiative of the Ministry of Education in its drive to ensuring that we bring quality education to each and every segment of our society and more so into the remote areas of this country. As alluded to earlier by Mr. Coy I can recall when I was going around discussing with the people from village to village on my campaign trail, the issue of having a primary school in this area that would house the students was a concern because we note that in this area the Bella Vista School is bursting at its seam in terms of enrolment and so there is the need for us to accommodate our students because when we accommodate them properly then it helps in learning and so when I raised the issue with Minister Faber he certainly said well Minister we will see what we can do and of course the negotiations started. We contacted the Social Investment Fund who willingly found the money and of course the Government of Belize found it available for us to have the counterpart funding.”
The project will be implemented by the Social Investment Fund and will provide a one storey Ferro-concrete building that will house four classrooms, bathroom facilities and administration office. Daniel Cano is the executive director of the Social Investment Fund.
Daniel Cano – Executive Director, SIF
“This morning we launched a project that will provide a new school building housing four classrooms with male and female bathrooms and an administration office. The building will be constructed with reinforced concrete with a concrete roof to allow for upward expansion. Once completed the building will also be able to stand up to category five hurricane winds and therefore serve as a shelter if needed. This projected is estimated to cost $379,000.00 of this about $300,000.00 is from a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank under its Basic Needs Trust Fund Five Program, the Government of Belize will contribute about $75,000.00 while the communities of Bella Vista and San Isidro will also contribute in the form of labour valued at $3,000.00. According to a release from the Social Investment Fund, once completed, the building will be able to withstand a category 5 hurricane. The project is estimated to cost three hundred and seventy nine thousand dollars, most of which comes from a grant from the Caribbean Development Bank. Counterpart funding to the tune of seventy five thousand dollars is being provided by the Government of Belize. Residents of the communities of Bella vista and San Isidro will contribute labor for the completion of the project."
Guest speaker at the launch of the project was Minister of Education Patrick Faber.
Patrick Faber – Minister of Education
“As you know this is an area that very much needs this kind of infrastructure. As the speakers before me have said, Bella Vista RC which is not too far away from here is of course running over. I believe they have close if not over 1,000 children in that school and that is not a very good thing; that means very crowded classrooms, that means conditions that may not be in the best interest of education and that is the whole reason why we have decided to do this kind of project.” LOVEFM