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Greater access to early childhood education in Corozal and Orange Walk Print E-mail
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Thursday, 27 April 2017 00:00

The European Union has donated over a million dollars for 3 new pre-schools to be built in the Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. It’s part of the EU’s assistance to the cane farming community in the north under the project called Accompanying Measures for Sugar, which is over a decade old.

Those new facilities are now the Trial Farm Government Pre-School in Orange Walk, and in the Corozal District, the other two are the San Jose Pre-School, and the San Pedro Pre-School. These new schools will allow for more than 150 students to get access to early childhood education. That means basic literacy and social skills, which will be the foundation that they need to get a better education later on in their development. The experts say that early childhood education allows for children to progress faster in later parts of their time in school. They are more productive, and are less likely to drop out. Plus, early childhood education allows children the opportunity to make use of those formative years where they take in knowledge like a sponge.

That’s the incalculable value of what has been offered to these 3 villages in the north. The inauguration ceremony for the 3 schools was held at the Trial Farm Government Pre-School, where officials of the Government and the EU went to celebrate the completion of all 3 schools. Gavin Tench, the representative for the EU, at the opening Ceremony told the press that these schools represent the EU’s commitment to better the lives of rural communities, not just through the main livelihood of sugar cane farming.

He said, “It’s not just about cane farmers, not just about roads; it also includes schools and that’s why we’re here today to open this fantastic new school. It’s also about helping the whole industry adjust to the future when price structures change and we realize that the sugar industry is a community within itself and that the families are just as affected as those who work in the fields or drive the tractors or work in the factories.”

The two principals have expressed gratitude to the Government and the EU for the donation.

Omar Cabrera, the principal of the San Jose Primary School, said, “We are certainly grateful to the European Union and the government of Belize for assisting us in getting this preschool. This is the first for a large school, we are one of the largest government schools in that area in the north with 500+ students and this is the first time I’m getting a preschool, so the social skills will definitely develop with the students going into infant 1.”

Nazira Romero, the principal of the Trial Farm Government School, told the press, “The preschool has 2 classrooms, there are 2 large classrooms. It has 4 bathrooms, 2 for staff and for the babies it has bathrooms at their level at their size, very cute bathrooms for them and it also has areas in which they can clean up after art.”

This grant of 1.14 million dollars is now added to the over 50 million dollars that the EU has donated to Belize over the past 10 years.