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Jan 27, 2016

Ministry of Education Rolls Out Phase 2 of the BESRP

After two years of consultations the Ministry of Education is ready to roll out Phase two of the Belize Education Sector Reform Project. The construction of thirty-five schools is planned across the country to ensure access to education from pre-school to primary school. The total cost of Phase two is forty-four million US dollars; the Caribbean Development Bank will be providing a loan of thirty-five million dollars and the government will be chipping in with eight-point five million dollars. Phase two was launched today by Minister of Education, Patrick Faber.

 

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“Our ministry is very driven by planning and what you see here is an execution of that plan. We have done phase one of that reform project and we are now gearing up for phase two. It follows our ministry’s plan to the letter that we launched some years ago and anybody can look at that plan and see how we are progressing. These schools will be across the country. You heard me say that we didn’t just hand pick which areas we want to put schools; in fact, these schools are being put there as a result of a school mapping exercise that we did in the preparatory stages with the support from the Caribbean Development Bank. We looked at projected population growth; we look at where students were not being served and that is how we determined where these thirty-five new schools will be.”

 

Deidre Clarendon

Deidre Clarendon, Caribbean Development Bank

“There are two major components to this project. The first will focus on enhancing the current capacity of the school infrastructure. We are hoping to build and outfit thirty-five schools which will serve the needs of an additional five thousand students at the pre-primary and basic education levels across the country. The second major component will enhance mechanisms and capacity for quality service delivery through the implementation of institutional strengthening and capacity building activities. These activities include the strengthening of resource allocation capacity, development of a national school maintenance policy and an assessment of the implications of increasing the age of compulsory education given that the critical importance of education to national development.”

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber

“The biggest area of impact in terms of the number of schools will be the early childhood area and we make no apologies for that. We believe in getting our children to start strong, on a strong foundation so I believe primary school children will benefit primarily. And we believe that once they get that benefit, then it multiples because they get then an opportunity at going on to primary and secondary, even.”

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