BELIZE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, BELIZE CITY- GABRIEL CRAWFORD ON THE FIRST DAY OF HIS NEW SCHOOL-2ND ROW LEFT
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"You can feel it in the air", said Dr. Jane Crawford. Cooler temperatures, and breezy evenings combined with actual sightings of clouds in the sky can only mean one thing- kids are ready and going back to school!
Primary schools across the country of Belize re-opened for the start of the 2009-2010 academic school year. All those lazy days of summer spent trying to figure out how to occupy the minds of the children without TV, computers or spending a fortune, has thankfully come to an end. The official Belize school year began on Monday, August 31, 2009. But that does not mean parents are off scot-free yet. First, unless you are amazingly well prepared and took care of your book list and supplies during the summer, it means running around the rest of this week and fighting the crowds to buy the long list of required books, and the ever increasing collection of accessories that students are now required to do their jobs. Some students will be a bit more nervous because they won’t be returning to the same school, but making a transfer to a new school and new friends.
Some communities and schools have started recycling school books by handing them down to the next year’s students, but most parents still need to go out and buy brand new books each school year. Many parents try to save the books for younger siblings to be used in the future, but the Education Ministry regularly changes the curriculum, making those recycled books obsolete. Parents say that their shelves are filled with books that nobody will use again.
Thankfully, there is one area that parents can save money. Most schools in Belize requires uniforms, so parents don’t need to rush off to buy brand new trendy outfits- especially for the girls for whom the first-day outfit is of great importance.
The important thing is, regardless of how they are all dressed, on Monday morning August 31, at 8:00 a.m. our Belizean children are handed off to the Belize educational system, where they will be immersed with the thoughts and concepts that will shape their minds for the rest of their lives.
All photos by Dr. Jane Crawford