Belize Internet Task Force (BITF)
The Belize Internet Task Force (BITF) was established in about 1997 by the Belize Association of Principals of Secondary Schools (BAPSS) and the Association of Tertiary Level Institutions in Belize (ATLIB). Its purpose was to encourage Internet connections in the schools of Belize.
The BITF only lasted a year or two, but the organization did a lot of work building the educational component of the information technology infrastructure of Belize.
|Chris Aird, Chair||Sacred Heart College||San Ignacio|
|Robert Buckland||St. Catherine Academy||San Ignacio|
|Gina Kisling||University College of Belize||Belize City|
|Rafael Marin||Belize Telecommunications Ltd||Belize City|
|Carlos Namis||University Management||Belmopan|
|Harry Noble||Mopan Technical High School||Benque|
|Steve O’Connell||Ecumenical College||Dangriga|
|Karrine Sanders||National Library Service||Belize City|
|Stuart Simmons||St. John’s College||Belize City|
|Jan Wilson||Corozal Community College||Corozal|
|Ademar Young||Belize Telecommunications Ltd||Belize City|
Most of the computer teachers in Belize attended a week-long workshop on Linux taught by Brian Chandler funded by the Organization of American States (OAS) with help from Belize Telecommunications Ltd (BTL), the University College of Belize (UCB) and others. Click on the image to the right to see most of the participants.
Later that year, there was a workshop at St. Catherine Academy in Belize City where computer teachers learned to make network cables, and other skills to set up their computer labs. Training was led by Les Johnstone of Sacred Heart College, Jan Wilson of Corozal Junior College, and others.
There were also many meetings, to coordinate the efforts and to share what worked, and what didn’t. Wherever the meetings were held, there were always those who had to drive an hour or more to get there.
Equipment from OAS
To follow up on the Linux workshop, Mike Gundy and others helped secure a grant from the OAS to provide key support equipment for schools. It included good modems to connect to the Internet, network hubs, CD-ROM writers, hard drives, etc. This provided a jump-start for many existing schools to network their labs, and connect them to the Internet. Below, Mike Gundy displays a check from the OAS to get the equipment.
Fiber for Internet
Meanwhile, BTL was laying the fiber optic bundles to better connect the country of Belize to the Internet.