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Jul 28, 2022

The National Curriculum Framework is Launched

Today at the House of Culture in Belize City, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology officially launched the National Curriculum Framework.  The document released is comprehensive and looks at refocusing the curriculum with a view to encourage national development. The consultation process began after the Briceño administration took office and involved all education stakeholders. News Five’s Duane Moody was at the launch and files this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

For months, a curriculum reform committee made up of a team of Belizean experts in education along with stakeholders have been engaged in the restructuring of the education curriculum. It is believed that the curriculum was overloaded and needed to be reformed for the development of competencies among students.


Dr. Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Education

“We got to work on the priority areas, including addressing curriculum overload and revolutionizing our curriculum. Between January and August of 2021, we held virtual meetings with eighteen stakeholders including the B.N.T.U., BAPSS, GAMAS, the tertiary education sector, civil society, the NTUCB, the media, the business community, the opposition party, parents and students. The focus was on curriculum overload and the transformation of our curriculum. It was unanimous that we have been straining under the weight of too many subjects and an excessive number of learning outcomes within subjects.”


Elena Smith

Senator Elena Smith, National President, B.N.T.U.

“As we concluded our consultations, I must say that for the most part, our teachers expressed sincere gratitude for this process. They were happy with the change because many of them felt that it was long overdue.”


Among those experts who were involved in the establishment of the units and lesson plans – specifically in terms of assessments and making sure that the learning outcomes are achieved for the new curriculum – were doctors Priscilla Brown and Mathias Vairez. The concept is that once you’ve developed certain competencies, you can advance to the next level, moving up from one grade to the next before the school year is complete.


Priscilla Brown

Dr. Priscilla Brown, Teaching Methodology

“It is focused on developing a clear understanding of concepts and demonstrating core skills associated with meaningful and relevant lessons for twenty-first century learning. This new experience then calls for the use of a student-centered, skill-based, critical thinking approach for students to demonstrate mastery of a concept and skills. It will include and is not limited to problem-based learning which focuses on students investigations using real live problems and scenarios linked to curriculum content.”


Mathias Vairez

Dr. Mathias Vairez, Assessing Competency

“Competency-based assessment is a process of determining the capability or the capacity of a learner or a student to apply a set of related knowledge skills, values, attitudes required to successfully perform a given task. The shift needs to be a criterion reference assessment; these are the competencies, these are the outcomes. We assess based on these outcomes and if you master these outcomes, you move on to the next set of outcome. You don’t need to wait an entire year before you can pass standard three to go to standard four.”


Dian Maheia

Dian Maheia, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“This is belief in Belize. – from consultation to consultancy, from lead team to writing team – this is a product of our people. It is us looking at what our realities are, looking at what’s happening internationally and bringing it home to what can work for our students. We believe in what we can produce and we are working together to produce what is best for our country.”


Minister of Education, Francis Fonseca says that while the new curriculum will be piloted this new school year, all institutions will be engaged by the 2023 school year.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“We are celebrating today, but it is the start of a process. A lot of work has to go into developing fully that framework into a meaningful curriculum. So we have experts who are working with us to prepare lesson plans and assessment plans so there is a lot of work that has to go into it. We will pilot, like we said, this year is a transition year, a pilot year and certainly based on this year’s experience we will learn certain things which will allow us to make changes and adapt the curriculum so that come next year, we will be able to implement it fully and effectively.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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