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Aug 11, 2022

Belize’s Decades Old Challenge with Brain Drain

Louis Zabaneh

While speaking on the issue of tertiary education financing with Doctor Zabaneh, reporters asked for his thoughts on the brain drain situation in Belize. He agreed that many highly trained or intelligent Belizeans migrate to take advantage of greater economic opportunities abroad. The decision in some cases, says Doctor Zabaneh, is as a consequence of the expenses incurred from students loans. Additionally, he noted that there is a productivity issue facing the country which makes Belize less attractive for skilled workers. 


Louis Zabaneh, Minister of State, Ministry of Education

“It is a major issues and I will tell you that in my case from 1999 when I was serving as the executive chairman at BELTRADE, I tried to bring in our PHDs from abroad. It included persons like Dr. Taegar, Dr. Pettas, Dr. Aaron Louis, all people who have contributed. But, we have the challenge. They may have also incurred certain loans along the way that they have to pay back and when they come to Belize the salaries are a fraction of what they would get internationally. So, it is not the education sector in isolation. It is also improving our productivity in country so that we have jobs that are paying higher returns and that require people with higher skills, so that they can then get paid more. So, we need to have an upward spiral, rather than the stagnation we have been having all these times.”


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