The University of Belize is this week observing a series of activities as part of Early Childhood Stimulation month. According to the Dean of the Faculty of Education and Arts Dr. Wilma Wright, the objective of the week of activities is to provide assistance in areas of preparation and development of all students, in particular children, adolescents, adults and involvement of UB students with this endeavor. Sylvaana Udz is a lecturer in the Faculty of Education and Arts, and she spoke with Love News about this week’s activities.

Sylvaana Udz – Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Arts

“We’re very excited because for example on Tuesday there is an early childhood workshop at the George Price Center in Belmopan from two to four. Dr. Alberto August who is in charge of all our interns is facilitating that workshop. There is a Spanish speaking workshop at the Jaguar Auditorium. On Wednesday all UBs education campuses will be holding a multi cultural fair and the Belmopan campus will also be having an open day as part of that fair. At the Belize City campus we’re also doing a big book club launch where we are donating books to Calvary Temple, they are a very lovely school and Ms. Bartley will come and accept some books that we have collected towards their own learning resource center. E P Yorke we have a UB student intern there and through Ms, Fay Gillett she connected us and she is starting her own in house library there through E P Yorke. Quite a lot is happening. The panel discussion on best practices in early childhood education and children with special needs is also another focus. We want to invite the public to check at UB, Wednesday certainly is a great day to be at any of our campuses, for Belize City it is from 1:30 in the afternoon, Belmopan is all day beginning in the morning and we are very excited about this. We also have the need for Spanish training among our teachers and that is a Ministry mandated initiative that UB has taken up the challenge with.”

According to John Flores who heads the Spanish Department at UB, the new bachelor’s degree program in Spanish is primarily for in-service teachers will be officially launched this evening at the Jaguar auditorium in Belmopan. Flores says it is an important addition to the national university’s curriculum given Belize’s geographic location.

John Flores – Head, Spanish Department

“The government of Spain through the Embassy of Spain in Guatemala they are sponsoring an expert, Anna Isabel who is coming all the way from Miami. She is in charge of the cultural division of the consulate of Spain in Miami and she is an expert in bilingual education so she will be delivering a speech regarding the current situation of Spanish teaching in the world. On Tuesday we are hosting two workshops for Spanish teachers in the primary school system in the morning and for high school teachers. It is a very exciting week because there are a lot of activities we are bringing the primary school, the high schools, to the university and we are also bringing the kids from the child stimulation center which will take part in our celebrations at the university.”

Udz says that the University of Belize will also be reaching out to assist the people of Japan who were affected by the earthquake earlier this month. According to Woods, a cultural component of the Faculty of Arts’ Communication Skills Course has been interrupted due to the destruction caused by the earthquake and resulting tsunami. The week of activities for the Faculty of Education and Arts will culminate on Friday with participation in the parade and rally by students of the Early Childhood Stimulation Pres School in Belmopan. The pre-school students will also be presenting a poem written by the President Emeritus of the University of Belie Dr. Corinth Morter-Lewis entitled; “I Love School.”