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Oct 4, 2016

Minister of Education Addresses Meeting on Curriculum Reform

Before heading out to cabinet today, the Minister of Education Patrick Faber, addressed educators on the issue of curriculum reform. Faber says the current programs are outdated and need adjustment to better suit the secondary level education. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Educators as well as stakeholders in the education system, including students, teachers, and principals converged at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City for a workshop on curriculum reform. For the past five years, the Ministry of Education had been focused on early childhood development, but today—while still maintaining that drive—education officials are looking at revamping the education system, particularly when it comes to secondary level. It’s a curriculum, which Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, says has become outdated.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“I’m sure that there are many others in Belize, who will agree with us that the curriculum at the secondary level is obsolete; it is something that is outdated. And the push by the ministry and its partners—particularly, our regional partners CXC—is to try to hear from the stakeholders here in Belize what they believe should go into the revamping of the curriculum and that is our objective in this workshop today.”

 

Across the country, there are technical and vocational educational training centers, ITVETs that prepare students to meet the demands in respect of human resources personnel in the public and private sectors. So stakeholders are also looking at changing these types of programs.

 

Patrick Faber

“My ministry has been involved in secondary finance reform. Well there was another leg to that reform, the curriculum reform, and you would see that this is a continuation to that. Our position is that we should not only be focusing, in terms of at the secondary level, on the academic provisions only; that we should include as much as possible vocational and technical education. Those aspects of education that a student may very well be interested in, but maybe not able to do as well in terms of the academic subjects. So we have long insisted that this be the case. It is a difficult switch to pull and for the ITVETs, we have said it repeatedly, it is as a result of the facilities that have become the ITVETs being branded initially as a kind of early school leavers when they were the CET. And so the mindset has taken a while, the change in the mindset has taken a while, but we are seeing improvements.”

 

According to Minister Faber, the curriculum is not limited to the ITVETs and the Skills Training Centers but to the creative arts, including music, drama and dance.

 

Patrick Faber

“All of this can be an alternative, if you will, to what our system projects to be the chief importance today. We can have a more successful education system that is more encompassing of these other areas that are just as important as the academics.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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