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Jan 8, 2003

Ground broken on Wesley Junior College

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The demand for education in Belize appears to be insatiable, and today ground was broken at one proud Belize City institution that, after a three decade hiatus, finally found its sixth form mojo. News 5′s Marion Ali reports.

Marion Ali, Reporting

These students found the midday sun a worthwhile sacrifice as they witnessed the groundbreaking of their own Wesley College Sixth Form. Education Minister Cordel Hyde says the crowd represents only a fraction of those awaiting an opportunity to enter junior college.

Cordel Hyde, Minister of Education

“We have thousands of high school students graduating each year. And so we are not nearly able to provide all the spaces that we need, we are just scratching the surface. So I think this is needed.”

What was also needed for the new facility, was space. That space was identified on the school’s basketball court, which has been out of use for some time now.

Mark Espat, Area Rep, Albert Division

“For the last several years since we built a new basketball court at the Yarborough area down the street, the students here have been using that court. The Memorandum of Understanding simply formalizes that use of the court during the school hours. The community will continue to use it during out-of-school hours and on weekends, of course. And that will allow us to build the new building on the court here at Wesley.”

When it opens its doors for nightly classes next school year, Wesley Sixth Form will cater not only to recent high school graduates, but also those already in the workforce seeking a 6th form education in two specific subject area.

Brenda Armstrong, Principal, Wesley College

“A General Studies course, which will enable people to go on to do Bachelor’s Degrees at colleges or universities. And then we’re hoping to focus on a social science option for an Associate Degree, which would cover areas like geography, history, economics, social studies, social work.”

The school’s principal and prospective Dean, Brenda Armstrong, says the sixth form is actually the second for Wesley. The first one, opened in 1938, closed its doors in 1972 for financial reasons. There are plans to construct a second building where the first form wing currently stands, if the demand for education continues to grow. Marion Ali for News 5.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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