Belize's strategy for social development in the 1980s focused on
increasing investments in formal education. On the surface, the
achievements have been impressive; opportunities for all levels of
schooling have greatly increased in the last thirty years.
Left side, School Kids in
Primary schools throughout Belize are usually privately owned and
supported by 80% of the costs supplied by the education department
budget. Most schools, but not all, are owned by one religious cult, or
another. Indoctrination of students is considered
basic for various religious cults. We have many religious varieties in
PSE and Education
On the PSE Exam for primary school graduation, mathematics was the most
difficult subject. Most primary schools do not have qualified teachers.
Over 80% of Belizean children attending primary schools do not even
finish the Standard 6, or Grade 8 level. They quit a lot earlier than
that and are pretty much lost to the development of Belize. The
majority of primary school teachers are not real teachers and are not
qualified by any standard of measurement. You use who is available to
teach in remote rural communities and villages. Children often teach
children. Good exam marks depend a lot on a trained enthusiastic
teacher, along with very supportive parents. Most primary schools in
rural parts do not have these things. Schools are usually overcrowded.
70% of students actually taking the PSE exam actually fail. The grades
are usually D and lower. While primary school education in Belize is
very bad. Compared to countries like Honduras and Nicaragua, our school
system is ranked very good in comparison. Everything is relative. Some
schooling is better than no schooling. We do what we can with what we
have in Belize!
Statistically speaking, 43% of teachers at primary school level in
Belize have an Associate Degree but no actual teacher training. Even at
High School level, only 31% of teachers are actually qualified by any
teacher training standard.
Recommendations in San Pedro
In San Pedro we can recommend all private and public school's, except
Peters Elementary and Ambergris Caye Elementary School ACES. One
failed on the PSE results; from nine students only one passed with
51.25%, the other School we
experienced on our own has big management and ethical issues.
The School with the best track record year
over year, is the public
San Pedro R.C. School. Again in 2009 the San Pedro R.C. School had the
best PSE results.
Ministry of Education and Belize National Teaches Union commemorated
Education Week during the period 10th to 16th May, 2009. During
that week they celebrated the contributions of teachers to the
development of Belize under the Theme: “Better Schools, Better
Citizens, Better Belize whatever it takes: It’s everybody’s business”.
address was given by Education Minister Hon. Patrick Faber who
opened by congratulating the teachers, saying “the work that you do is
so very important and for this we are most grateful.” But along
that gratitude came a dose of reality that changed the tone in the
Jaguar Gymnasium as the Hon. Faber said that in his eighteen months in
office he has visited, “schools like Georgetown High School in the
south where children sit under a thatch roof structure with no walls
for a classroom…in Toledo where children come to school without
shoes...I have seen overcrowded classrooms…I have seen children whose
meal for the day at school is one or two corn tortillas and salt.”
used Friday's captive audience of five thousand teachers to announce
some bold new initiatives by government to address the inequities and
inadequacies within the system. Chief among those is teacher
training. According to Faber, 43% of primary school teachers have
minimum of an Associates Degree and a shocking only 31% of secondary
school teachers are trained to teach at that level. That is
government and the Ministry of Education will embark on an ambitious
plan to train 350 teachers during the summer.
On Friday, 12th June, 2009 which is set aside as “Teachers’ Day”, The
Ministry of Education with the assistance of BELTRAIDE is having an
“Education Mini Expo”, on the Football Field at the University of
Belize Campus in Belmopan City.
will target teachers who have Associate Degrees in subjects other than
education equipping them with pedagogical skills. Government will
for the training which will be available at all campuses of the
University of Belize and other tertiary level institutions. The
teachers will receive a certificate in primary education which will be
key in the advent of the National Teaching Services Commission, which
will remove the hiring and firing of teachers from the hands of
politicians and place it under the National Teaching Services
Commission which will be independent from the Ministry of Education.
ensure that teachers get an opportunity to be trained, Faber also
announced that with infusion of $20 million from the CDB to revive the
DFC, student loans will now be available and teachers will be able to
access loans from the DFC to receive the necessary training required to
remain in the classrooms. He warned teachers that, “failure to
advantage now could have consequences for your licensing down the
for a Bette Belize is a
partnership of professional educators from North America and Belize.
aids Toledo's preschool and primary-school teachers and principals with
the training, supplies, and facilities required to help their students
achieve academic success and thereby escape poverty. Teachers
for a Bette Belize TFABB.ORG