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An exchange programme between the Telesecundaria Jesus Martinez Ross, an academic institution in Quintana Roo, Mexico, has developed close and positive partnerships with institutions in Belize. In May, the initiative saw school officials from neighbouring Mexico visiting Mary Hill R.C. School in the Corozal District. On June 7th officials from Mary Hill R.C. travelled to neighboring Chetumal, Quintana Roo, to take part in an official programme. We found out more about the initiative from Principal of Mary Hill R.C. School, Guillermo Pech.

Screen_Shot_2019-06-12_at_8.03.21_PMGuillermo Pech, Principal, Mary Hill R.C. School

“They started this initiative on different project on how to improve their schools, this school in particularly which is Tele-secundaria Jesus Martinez Rose, they started as a project on how to bring their culture and education to other parts of the, not only the country but also, outside of their country. So they started last year and they did an exchange with our sis school in Methodist and their I got an invitation to have the exchange with us this year and that is how we accepted the invitation and then we started the preparation to do this exchange. The exchange really took a lot of effort and time with paper work and all of that because of a lot of paper work with the council and the Embassy but we manage to come through and they came here on the 23rd of May to do the first part of the exchange, they came to our school and they presented their cultural items and things to do with their Mexican culture and then we in turn presented our Belizean culture to them, June 7th was the other part which was us going to the border to go to their school, this was a very good experience because we got help from the entire Mexican government behind it so we got the media and all the municipalities involved in that, we really had a good experience and we practically got the entire Chetumal in a stand still just for us to be there and the Congress they called it but it was good.”

One of the immediate benefits of the programme is the exposure to different school systems. As mentioned by Principal Pech, the partnering institution is one which has embraced technology and getting the opportunity to visit and learn about them has been a learning curve.

Guillermo Pech, Principal, Mary Hill R.C. School

“It was a whole new experience that we saw. They had a program whereby the school have their lesson through a television so in each classrooms they have a television, so they have lessons being across, someone from another state sending their lessons through the television and they are online and they have satellites whereby lessons are being delivered to their students is not like in our case we have the teachers delivering , they have actually lecturers from across the states sending their lessons via satellite so that is why they are called Tele-Secundaria because a television is like a teacher in the classroom. The areas are interested which I heard that the project started in conjunction with Belize but their was a change in government and so it did not happened so here we did not adopted it but they continued and it looks like it is working for them.”

The visiting entourage also toured the House of Culture, the Corozal Town Council, the Santa Rita Maya Temple, and had lunch at the roundhouse with the picturesque view of Corozal’s Bay. Principal Pech added that the visits to schools will continue as three other schools have reached out to them as part of the initiative.

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