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Nov 3, 2021

SJC to Offer Bachelor Degrees

Established in 1887 as an all boys school in Belize City, St. John’s College has since seen the formation of an extension division and a junior college. The Jesuit institution is once again expanding its offerings and today a historic announcement was made at the SJC extension building in downtown Belize City. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

The President of St. John’s College, Mirtha Peralta, made a milestone announcement on Wednesday morning.


Mirtha Peralta

Mirtha Peralta, President, SJC

“Today in recognition of the work of those humble servants of St. John’s College, especially Father Leo Webber, who will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of his final vows on Saturday November sixth, I am very pleased to announce that seventy years after the opening of the six form division, St. John’s College will once again enter a transformative phase, as we have been granted full and formal approval by the Ministry of Education for the vertical expansion of our program offerings to include studies at the bachelors and graduate degree levels, with effect from January first 2022.”


With the announcement, the College unveiled its revamped logo, which has seen a change from the words Belize City at its base to Belize only, necessary for the internationalization and adaptability of the institution. Minister of Education, Francis Fonesca gave the keynote address.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“This important decision is grounded in SJC’s one hundred and thirty-four year history of service and commitment to the people and nation of Belize. It is a history of producing men and women for and with others, a history of providing quality education at the highest standards of Catholic and Jesuit traditions.”

Along with the announcement, Bishop Lawrence carried out the ceremonial blessing of SJC’s extension building. It has been refurbished and rededicated in honor of now deceased Jesuit priest and educator, Father John Stochl.


Michael Coye

Michael Coye, Board of Trustees, SJC

“This is my first time here in this newly refurbished extension building, the newly refurbished Stochl Hall. The very first time I stepped into this building was several decades ago. I had recently returned from completing my studies abroad and had dutifully accepted an offer to teach an accounting course at St. John’s extension. I can clearly remember the face of those students, most of whom would rush to class from a long day’s work to soak in an evening of accounting standards. They seemed so eager to learn, and they were. They had this great purpose, a greater goal to further their education.”


The institution will make a later announcement outlining the field of studies it will be offering in its bachelors and masters programs. Notwithstanding, after today’s ceremony, Minster of Education Francis Fonseca gave us the broad outlines of the new direction.

Francis Fonseca


“The emphasis of this institution, this new four year institution will be on sustainable development courses, environment, health sciences, also engineering programs. Technology of course, how can I forget technology? Technology will be central to their programs, benefiting from the networking that exist in these other institutions to provide the St John’s College four year program with the support an capacity and resources they need to help us to develop our nation. That was one of the points of emphasis I had, to make sure we are not going to be churning out more business administration students with degrees in business administration, but that we were going to be meeting the needs of national development.”


Mirtha Peralta

“There is no doubt that in order for a growing nation, such as ours, to achieve its maximum potential, it must be able to rely on the education, knowledge, skills of an educated populace.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez.

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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