Recently the Ministry of Education announced the reopening of schools – a decision that has received widespread criticism and no less than a doctor who came forth to say that this will cause the COVID numbers to rise even more. But Prime Minister Briceno said today that with the vaccination for children twelve and over now available and with almost one hundred percent of teachers fully vaccinated, everything will be alright.

Prime Minister John Briceno

“We have to do everything possible to get the children back in school because our children are losing out. Many of them are not keeping up with what they’re supposed to be able to learn online. Rosana (his wife) is a teacher and she was lamenting that pretty much last year was a lost year for the children. And she, as a principal, and a person that has so much experience in education than I do, and knows more than I do, is telling me that we have to find a way to get the children into school. Many countries around the world, the kids are back in school. In Mexico the children are back in school. Why are we going to be any different? Will some children get sick? Yes, it will happen, but we just have to do everything possible to protect our children. We start off with every teacher being vaccinated. I want to congratulate Senator Smith, the President of the BNTU. She has been pushing her teachers to get vaccinated and they’re close to a hundred percent, almost all of them are vaccinated. That’s a good start. But we need to find a way to get our children back to school. Part of it is learning the subject but also the socialization and it is something that our children are losing out on. That is an important aspect of growing up.”

Briceno says he is of the view that Minister of Health, Michel Chebat, is doing a good job, despite the criticisms that have been made of him. Briceno compared today’s reality of the much more contagious and deadly Delta variant that is sweeping across Belize, compared to the far less contagious and fatal Alpha variant that was initially spreading last year.

Channel 5