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Face to Face Classes to Resume on April 12th #549064
03/24/21 07:28 PM
03/24/21 07:28 PM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,726
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
REOPENING OF SCHOOLS: PREPARING TO RETURN TO FACE-TO FACE INSTRUCTION

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology has received official approval from Cabinet to begin the Phased-In Return to Face to Face Instruction for All Schools. The COVID-19 Education Task Force, convened in February 2021, brought together relevant key stakeholders and partners in education to reinforce the Government's commitment to the delivery of quality, accessible education during the Covid-19 pandemic, and to provide specific recommendations for the safe and responsible reopening of schools for face-to-face instruction in August/September 2021 or when it is deemed safe to do so by the Ministry of Health and Wellness. It has now been determined by the Ministry of Health and Wellness that we can begin to phase in the return to the classroom, and the Task Force has put forward some recommendations.

A survey conducted from March 10 to March 15, 2021, received responses from an unprecedented 55% of the nation's teachers and indicated that while many teachers still want more information on the vaccine, about half are ready to take the vaccine, and many are ready to return. Each school and each group of staff members is different, though, and the Ministry of Education recognizes that there is no one solution or plan that will work for everyone. The Phased-In Return will work like this:

1) Schools will be asked to complete a Phased-In Return Application Form. This form will collate the demographics and the school's plan for who will return and how. Schools will need to have their shifts or staggered schedules in place. 2) Schools will schedule a visit from their DEC. Visits will be schedulec online and the DEC team will visit the school to complete the Green Light Standard Safety Checklist.

3) Schools who have completed all requirements will receive certification and will be able to begin to have their students return to the classroom.

Participating in this Phased-In Return is optional for schools right now. Schools may begin to phase in the return either on April 12, as part of Group 1 or on May 10, as part of Group 2. Phasing in will allow schools to ensure that their COVID procedures and Learning Continuity Plans are practical and give them the opportunity to refine them as needed before all schools return fully in the coming academic year.

Those schools who are ready are encouraged to apply at https.11resource.moe.gov.bzilacetolacereturni

Thank you for your usual cooperation.

DIAN MAHEIA Chief Executive Officer

Re: Face to Face Classes to Resume on April 12th [Re: Marty] #549074
03/25/21 05:01 AM
03/25/21 05:01 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,726
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology has been given the go-ahead to begin the Phase-In Return to Face-To-Face Instruction. Here's a breakdown of how this wiLL occur.

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Re: Face to Face Classes to Resume on April 12th [Re: Marty] #549099
03/26/21 04:49 AM
03/26/21 04:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,726
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

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Marty  Offline OP

School Rules Will Be Relaxed For COVID Financial Crunch Considerations

After a 13 month COVID break, schools will start to re-open on April 12th, but - if you go by social media chatter - some parents still feel that it is not safe enough to send their kids back to school just yet.

But most of those parents need not to worry at this point, since the phased-in return to classes only concerns schools whose management chooses to reopen.

The Minister of Education told us today that there are a few schools who feel like they are ready to resume in person classes and those are the one that will be getting that chance after the Easter holiday.

But being ready is not the only requirement, as the Ministry has an extensive checklist for schools to pass to ensure that health and safety protocols are being met. And today, via Zoom, Minister Francis Fonseca went over some of those requirements. He also noted that online classes will not end altogether.

Hon. Francis Fonseca - Minister of Education
"Schools have a plan in place for ensuring that their students wear masks. They should have wash stations available so that students and teachers can properly sanitize and wash their hands. We're following the guidelines from the Ministry of Health which say that really students need a distance of about 3 feet. It used to be 6 feet but now all the experts now say that 6 feet is no longer required, it's really 3 feet requirement for social distancing, so we'll try to accomplish that. Sanitization of the classroom, keeping the compound clean, ensuring that there are rules in place for students when they on campus, for parents when they are dropping off students, those types of things to ensure that there are proper rules in place and regulations in place. Some schools have this hybrid approach where they'll have 2 days at school in the classroom and 3 days remotely. Other schools will have proposed a shift system where certain classes come in the morning, some classes come in the afternoon or some students come for particular days of the week, other students come on other days of the week, so there are different approaches being taken. For most schools it will be, certainly for the plans you've seen for the ones in April, there will be a hybrid approach to learning, to reopening so that they will still have a component of online learning."

The second part of this phased-in approach begins May 10th and will once again be optional.

But what about those parents who feel ill-prepared to send their children to school? Well, the minister said they should have been preparing all this time since the ministry's main goal was to always reopen schools.

But he added that uniforms and textbooks wouldn't be mandatory and that schools will have to work with parents who are unable to purchase them.

Hon. Francis Fonseca
"Well first of all I don't accept that it's short notice, we've working on this for months and months and we've been saying I know from day one that I became Minister of Education, I made it clear that our number one objective is to get our students back into the classroom. We established a task force, the covid task force specifically for that purpose to guide us and to make recommendations for how we can properly and responsibly return to the classroom. So, it's not short notice and we've been having this dialogue with the Belize National Teachers Union, without general managers, with the Belize Association of Principals, of secondary schools, with all of the stakeholders in education, so it's a flexible approach. In terms of parents we've made it very clear in the release we put out that schools are not to insist that students must have uniforms or they must have all their books, we made that very clear because we are sensitive to the fact that they country is in an economic crisis, many parents are out of work, many families are struggling, so we understand that and we've made it very clear that schools have to appreciate and understand that. So, there is no mandate for uniforms and books and all these things, schools have to work with parents and try to do their best to assist them and support them."

The minister added that with teachers getting vaccinated, all schools will be expected to reopen at the start of the next academic school year.

He noted that in the first two or three days of phase 2 of the vaccine rollout, over 800 teachers received their vaccinations. That's about 20% of the 4,000 persons in the teaching profession.

Channel 7


Education C.E.O. Breaks Down Phased Return of Face-to-Face Instruction

As we reported on Wednesday, cabinet has approved the phased return of face-to-face instruction of schools at all levels and sectors across the country.  Since September of 2020, secondary and tertiary students have been attending virtual classes, while learning packages were distributed to primary schoolers.  But beginning April twelfth, schools who believe that they have all the requirements set in place can commence in-person learning once again.  If they miss that date, there is also an opportunity on May tenth, six weeks before the close of the 2020 school year.  That aside, all institutions must reopen for some level of face-to-face instruction at the start of the 2021 school year in late August, early September. The school’s management simply needs to apply to the Ministry of Education for approval.

Dian Maheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“We are not saying that all schools will be opened on April twelfth. That is not the case. What we are saying is any school that is ready, any school that feels that we have everything is place and we want to begin to bring our students back can begin to do so in phases. There is a form to be filled out and it collects first the demographic of the school so we know what district you are in and what’s your level. And then it asks the school to give us information on how they want to return; so what groups will come back. And the groups – it’s at the discretion of the school. If it is a high school, for example, the high school can choose to bring back fourth formers first or it can do first formers because first formers have never been on the campus of their school. Or a primary school might say we will bring back standard six students or we will bring back standard one students so we can do a literacy screening and start to work with them to see how well they are reading. Or schools can also choose to bring back maybe the students who are the weakest academically because they are going to need the most support to be brought back up to level. Or the school might decide that we will bring back all the students, but we will do it in shifts. We cannot say for example we have a school with five hundred students and we are going to open the gates and five hundred will come back every day from eight to three cause that’s not going to happen; that’s not going to be allowed.”

Blended Learning at Schools?

So schools are going to have to get innovative with their learning continuity plans.  C.E.O. in the Ministry of Education, Dian Maheia speaks of blended learning as a possible new normal.

Dian Maheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“If you want to bring back all your students, you have to find a way to stagger your schedules, shift your days and schools really are so creative. What we know is that schools already have learning continuity plans; they built them last year and they’ve been revising them and reviewing them and learning continuity plans are specific to the schools themselves. So my school knows what will work for us; your school knows what will work for you. We have to be prepared to shift our plans and be prepared that the reality for schools moving forward may well be a blended reality; it may be a hybrid reality. And so really, part of the benefit of beginning now in this way is that the schools are going to begin to test their procedures because they have wonderful plans. They have all the procedures set in place; they know in theory and on paper how they think this will work and how it should work and how it could work. But now in bringing the groups in, in increments and in phases, they are going to be able to evaluate and see.”

C.E.O. Maheia says that schools are advised to recognise the economic realities of parents and not make mandatory specific shoes, books and uniforms.

Channel 5


Re: Face to Face Classes to Resume on April 12th [Re: Marty] #549118
03/26/21 07:58 PM
03/26/21 07:58 PM
Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,017
San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye...
Amanda Syme Offline

.
Amanda Syme  Offline
This really is a perfect time to get the kids into the digital era. Have a tablet instead of the super expensive and heavy books that only some kids can afford and which get stolen and become outdated so quickly. Let's make the new schooling systems more interactive and affordable and considerate to the needs of not only the kids but their families who are sacrificing meals to ensure their kids get an education!

Re: Face to Face Classes to Resume on April 12th [Re: Marty] #549123
03/27/21 03:37 AM
03/27/21 03:37 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 79,726
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

.
Marty  Offline OP

School Opening Will Be Phased

We put the very same question to the Minister of Human Development Hon Dolores Balderamos Garcia.

She was quick to roll her eyes at all the naysayers and reiterated the sentiment that the process will indeed be phased. She added that the confusion over the phasing is ample illustration of why school must re-open.

Dolores Balderamos Garcia, Minister of Indigenous People's Affairs
"I would like to say that I give Minister Fonseca my hundred percent support. I think the ministry of education and of course Miss Diane Maheia, his CEO, we have to learn English in this country yo know. They said a phased approach to reopening of the schools beginning on the twelfth of April; it never say all schools and all teachers are forced back into the classrooms on the twelfth of April. When the schools are ready; when they have they wash basin and they hand sanitizers and soap and physical infrastructure that they can open, then they will open. And I have every confidence in Miss Maheia and Minister Fonseca that they will make the right decisions. Since you have given me the opportunity, I would like to call on the teachers for full cooperation. I was looking at an interview last night of a teacher. Very big respect to her, but it almost sounded to me like she was speaking out of both sides of her mouth because on one side she was saying we noh ready and on the other hand she said well I love my babies and I ready to take them back and for us to get going because our babies have to get back to school. Even if we call them babies, right up to the age of eighteen, let's get our children back in school. That is what we need to do, but it will be phased."

Schools that hope to re-open during either phase will have to be certified as COVID safe by the MOE

A Press release from the Ministry of Education on the phased reopening says that quote: "Schools will have varying approaches to re-opening."

The Ministry also instructs schools not to force students to wear uniforms or particular styles of shoes during this time explaining that there must be consideration of financial challenges and consideration for students who may be forced to return to the classroom without all the requisite materials.

Return to School Not Yet Mandatory

On Wednesday night we told you that school would reopen for face to face classes on April 12th, one week after Easter.

It's a Ministry Of Education decision that's come like a bolt from the blue for some parents, causing widespread concern about the financial challenge of getting children equipped for a return to the classroom.

But tonight the Special Envoy for Families and Children, Rossana Briceno, who is also part of the COVID-19 Education Task Force, explains that the return to school will be carried out in phases. Phase one begins on April 12th followed by Phase two which will start on May 10th.

And this morning when pressed to explain the process of the phased reopening, Mrs. Briceno told the media that while a return to school is not yet mandatory, we have to start making moves to get our kids back into classroom.

Rossana Briceno, Special Envoy for Families and Children
"We all agree that schools have to reopen at some point, so we are all gearing up for the reopening in September. Yes there are phases, phase one and phase two, which are not mandatory and I think our families need to understand that it is not you have to do this. The schools don't have to do anything. We were looking that schools, parents, can test run what they already have in place to see if it works or if it doesn't work so that when we start in June, they are more than ready. So that is basically what we are looking at. I know there is a lot of confusion out there and assumptions that owe but we are not ready and dehn di throw this pan we right now. No; this is a work in progress. This has been happening from last year, through the D.E.C.s where we had to put learning continuity plans in place. Every couple months, they want us to tighten it and tighten it. That is what we were supposed to be doing. Now, I know that some schools in the remote areas, the most vulnerable populations may never be ready and that's why the minister has said and it is being said over and over, there is no one size fits all. So dehn noh wah give yo wah template and say everybody must meet this. Nobody will be able to meet it. But you know what your needs are, in your community, in your school so you adapt to what your environment is, what your school culture is."

Reporter
"We understand that it's a phased reopening, so not everything is going to have to happen immediately. Still a lot of parents who don't understand the process yet are crying out about their finances and even in a phased reopening they are saying that we are unemployed, I don't even know when I'll be employed, how can the government expect me to be ready in just a few months to get my child back into the swing of things. What would you say to that?"

Rossana Briceno
"I would say take it one day at a time, it's not mandatory. If you as a parent feel that you are not ready to let go of your child, then don't. You have a choice. We are there to take care and to help with your children. If it means that if you send your child back to school and it will allow you to go and find a job, then let us do that for you in these phases, so that when school reopens and they are back to school a hundred percent or in shifts or cycles or whatever, you already have something that can help you. So it's not mandatory."

Channel 7



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