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Jun 8, 2016

Minister of Education Comments on Guatemalan Students in Belize

For days we have received reports that dozens of Guatemalans students have been lining up for enrolment at Mount Carmel High School and other schools in Benque Viejo Del Carmen. For years there has been an organized program for the Guatemalan students to come to Belize to study and by the hundreds they arrive by bus in the morning and leave in the afternoon after classes. Given the current circumstances between both countries, On Tuesday, we asked the DPM and Minister of Education Patrick Faber if there is any policy by government to address the issue of Guatemalans entering the country for education.

 

Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister

“I don’t know that there has been a change in any policy on the part of the Ministry of Education. I don’t know what the position is; you are saying that they are lining up…I don’t know. But what I will tell you is that I am aware that the ministry’s policy is that if it is that a student attends one of our schools that is grant in aid, if that student cannot prove Belizean nationality that student is asked to pay much more. In fact, when you look at even the subsidy; if that student cannot prove Belizean nationality then that student should not get the subsidy. Now if something is going on contrary to that, then I would be surprise to that. But there is no policy that excludes students from other countries from attending schools in Belize other than the simple fact that we may have a different payment plan for them, so to speak. I am not aware of any mass number of students trying to register at Mount Carmel, as you pointed out, but again, because I don’t know I would not be in a position to say any much more than that.”

 

Patrick Faber

Reporter

“But I imagine it is the regular number of Guatemalan students who register on a yearly basis because we know that that occurs.”

 

Patrick Faber

“Well I know that it occurs, but to tell you that I know it happens at that alarming rate in this year or any other year for that matter, I am not able to say. I don’t know those figures so I cannot say.”

 

Reporter

“And as it relates to their immigration documents being in order?”

 

Patrick Faber

“Well I know that as a part of Belize and Guatemala’s confidence building measures that we had allowed some of this. But look, there are many Belizean students as well who are attending school in Guatemala. We have a number, a large number of students for instance studying medicine in San Carlos and do so at a very low rate; they are not charged a foreign rate or they are not excluded from studying there. While it may not be happening or maybe it is happening right there at the border, in terms of the border municipalities; this is something that we would want to carefully consider because if we reject Guatemalan students just like that, then there might be some repercussions on the other side. But as I know it, this is a part of our confidence building measures that we have agreed to and unless there is a larger decision by the cabinet to back off of this kind of agreement, then I am sorry, we have to follow suit in the Ministry of Education.”

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6 Responses for “Minister of Education Comments on Guatemalan Students in Belize”

  1. MNHG says:

    AND CONFIDENCE BUILDING ALSO IS FOR THE DOZENS AND DOZENS OF GUATEMALAN DRIVERS OPERATING TAXIS IN THIS COUNTRY ?
    AND THE IMF TELLING IT TO YOU IN THE FACE AND YOU DO NOT WANT TO SEE WHERE THE WEAKNESS OF BELIZE ECONOMY IS? WHAT ABOUT THE MILLIONS OF CONTRABAND GOODS COMING IN AT NIGHT AND EARLY MORNINGS?
    OUR CATTLE IS GOING THROUGH BULLET TREE INTO GUATEMALA , AND THERE IS NO CUSTOMS THERE IN BULLET TREE.
    ALL THAT IS CONFIDENCE BUILDING?
    ENJOY, TIME IS FLEETING AWAY, SOON WE WILL CHANGE THIS GOV.

  2. Belizean Pride says:

    Why does every single politician never knows what is going on, every time they are asked a question they don’t know, then who the hell knows. They suppose to be informed on a daily basis as how things are going but this fools never know nothing starting from PM to the last aristocrat. It’s just anger me to always hear this lame excuse ï don’t know or I have not been informed” Jeez punch of gold diggers.

  3. pueblo unido says:

    He obviously dodged the question!!! Missing the point on purpose. The students studying Medicine in Guatemala are there legitimately.

  4. CEO says:

    Let’s not speak with big mouths if they are attached to small minds!

    This could be a good thing but the investments in this will not be realized for some time. The bonds and friendships formed by these children could help resolve the problem in about 25 years providing it is well managed and not become a burden to the economy.

    This gives us an opportunity to educate young minds on the issues.

  5. Al says:

    Quite frankly, to me, knowing the paltry state of our education system, to know that people from guatemala is coming across because our education is actually BETTER than theirs, is really a positive thing.

  6. Hatari says:

    “I don’t know” . . . and he is the new Deputy Prime Minister! Typical! Come on Belize stop putting these inept politicians in positions of power.

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