Thursday, June 28, 2007

This is great news!!!!!!!

Wow, I've just read on the Channel 7 website that the Belize Government is going to start giving free text books to all primary school children! That is fantastic! I'm absolutely delighted. This is what has been needed so badly for so long now. And I guess that means that the job of the Jaden Foundation is going to change quite a bit. A big part of our job used to be the sorting out of school books each year. We used to collect last year's books, see which ones could be re-used, collect all the new book lists (some hand written and barely understandable) & then go up and down the country to all the different book stores in an attempt to buy all the books we needed. It was never a straight forward process & it used to cost us a fair amount of money too.

We can now use the Jaden Foundation funds for school transport, supporting high school students and sponorship for those wanting to attend the private school, BCA.

Here is the news story:

GOB To Offer Free Textbook for Primary School Students

Free textbooks for primary school students - that was the announcement made by Education Minister Francis Fonseca at this morning's PSE Awards Ceremony.

It's been general knowledge to parents and educators for months, but details have been scarce. And in the absence of information, apprehension has developed in some quarters because parents want to know, what will their children be learning and will it be up to standard? But those answers were not forthcoming this morning. Fonseca only made the general announcement that starting in September all primary school students enrolled in public and church run schools will receive free textbooks.

Hon. Francis Fonseca,"The standardized books cover the five core subject areas of mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, and Spanish. The textbook program will provide quality and relevant textbooks free of cost for all children attending primary school. This textbook program takes effect September, 2007. We have consulted widely and deeply and we are doing the right thing for the children of Belize. Yes, there are cynics and those for whom the Ministry of Education can do no right. I urge all our people, but particularly our principals and teachers and parents to embrace this important opportunity for our nation."

After this morning's ceremony, Fonseca declined our request for an interview to elaborate on the program's scarce details. He promised that those questions would be answered next week when he holds a press conference to fully detail the initiative.