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Jun 28, 2004

45 teachers seek masters degrees

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Summer vacation officially started this week for thousands of the country’s students. And while most will travel to vacation spots at home and abroad, a group of forty-five teachers will spend the first half of their summer break in the classroom, working towards their Masters degree in Education. Coordinator of the Masters in Education programme, professor Pritchy Smith, says the collaborative venture between the University of Belize and the University of North Florida at Jacksonville, affords participants the chance to cover most of their credit hours at home while earning their degree at a fraction of the cost of attending school abroad.

Professor Pritchy Smith, Coordinator, M.Ed. Programme

?The programme has benefits for both institutions. What the programme does right now for the University of North Florida is to provide excellent opportunities for professional development activities and research activities for the faculty who come down to teach.

I think benefits for Belize of course and for U.B. and the Ministry of Education are pretty obvious. That is there is no graduate education readily available in country and this provides opportunities for teachers and principals, administrative employees who want graduate degrees and credentials to earn much of that, much of those credentials here in this country.?

Ewart Robateau ? U.B. External Relations Officer

?From participating in this partnership we get to upgrade some of our teachers, provide them with the necessary training. Upgrade their qualifications and therefore they will be best suited for higher education and be able to provide the service to the students that we are looking for.?

The programme of collaboration with the University of North Florida began in 1996 at what was then the University College of Belize. Since that time over a hundred and fifty students have graduated with master’s degrees. Robateau says that to enrol students must apply directly to the University of North Florida. If accepted, they may take two semesters in Belize and one at the campus in Jacksonville, Florida.

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