Ministry of Education, Youth, Sports & Culture

Frequently Asked Questions COVID-19 Implications on Education and the Way Forward March 18, 2020

1. When will schools close? Schools will close at the end of the school day on Friday, March 20, 2020.

2. Does the school closure apply to support staff? School managements should make a determination on time-off for support staff based on the need for their services during the 2-week period of school closure. This does not apply to public servants who fall under the Public Service Regulations.

3. Does the school closure also apply to private schools and tertiary institutions? Yes, all schools and educational institutions must comply with the 2-week school closure order in accordance with ER29 on Public Health.

4. Can schools arrange for on-site, small group student learning activities during the 2-week period of school closure? Students should not be required to come to school during the 2-week period of school closure.

5. What is meant by home-based learning? Home-based learning refers to educational activities that students can engage in at home to build on or retain knowledge and skills. This is not meant to be a replacement for school-based learning. The objective is to meaningfully engage students during the 2-week period of school closure.

6. What is expected of schools and teachers in regards to home-based learning? Schools are asked to prepare and share with parents a home-based learning plan for students which includes suggested topics and activities such as readings and assignments. This is similar to what some schools and teachers normally provide to students over Easter or Christmas breaks to keep them learning while they are away from school.

7. What is expected of parents in regards to home-based learning, Parents and caregivers are asked to ensure that children spend a part of each day engaged in reading and learning activities that are provided by schools or obtained from other sources. Some resources will be available on the Ministry of Education website (www.moe.gov.bz).

8. Should schools that are able to conduct online classes proceed with classes over the 2-week period of school closure? Where it is possible, and adequate access by all students can be assured, sorne remote interaction between teachers and students is encouraged. However, teachers and students should not be required to engage in full online classes over the 2-week period of school closure. Should there be need for a more extended school closure, all options will be revisited.

9. What is the plan for the Primary School Examinations (PSE)? The PSE is suspended until further notice.

10. What is the plan for CSEC and CAPE Exarns? The Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC), the regional body responsible for CSEC and CAPE Exams, is considering adjustments to the exam administration period. Notices will be sent out as soon as information is received.

11. What will happen to students who are in the National School Meals Program? The MOE has arranged with rneal providers to prepare take-home food hampers for each child currently receiving meals through the National School Meals Program. High schools are encouraged to make similar arrangements for students in their school feeding programs.

12.How will schools be asked to make up days? Based on the fluidity of the situation, it is difficult to make a determination on rnake-up days at this time.

For updates and announcements please visit the Ministry of Education's Facebook page (https://wwwfacebook.com/BelizeMOEYS/), the MOE website (www.moe.gov.bz) or contact the District Education Center in your area at the following phone number:

Corozal DEC 402-2147
Orange Walk DEC 302-2267
Belize DEC 203-5862
San Pedro Substation 226-4742
Cayo DEC 804-2271
Belmopan Substation 828-4313
Stann Creek DEC 502-2111
Toledo DEC 702-2002