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Aug 29, 2022

A Look at the Belize Education Sector Plan

Today at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology held a press conference on the activities of the past year to revolutionize the Belize Education System, since the new administration took office in November 2020. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology has been working towards the reformation of the education system. The transformation to ensure that education works for all children has been shared with stakeholders ahead of the 2022 school year.


Yolanda Gongora

Yolanda Gongora, Chief Education Officer

“I am sure that the schools who have commenced the 2022 school year have welcomed their students with much anticipation as they begin to prepare today’s learners to be tomorrow’s leaders. While the past two years have been challenging, this year offers a chance for renewed energy and increased opportunities for our students.”


The Belize Education Sector Plan includes a collaborative approach to learning. It includes the Teacher Learning Institute, the Education Upliftment Project, Together We Rise with Gwen Lizarraga High School, Excelsior High School, Maud Williams High School and Sadie Vernon High School. There’s also the national Health Start Feeding Program, the 501 Academy which is the learning hub of Belize.


Francis Fonseca

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education

“Transforming teaching and learning – critically important, critically important. That’s where you heard today about the teacher learning institute and about national curriculum reform and the new framework that we have launched. That is how we go about transforming teaching and learning, making sure that our students in the classroom and learning what matters, that our teachers are teaching what matters. To create an education system that produces students, that produces citizens who will be equipped with the knowledge, the skills, the information, the values the attitudes which will allow them to lead meaningful, productive, positive lives. That is at the core of the work that we do. That is ultimately the objective of education. If that is not your goal in education to produce quality citizens, then you are wasting time.”


Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has fostered resiliency in the education system, allowing for digital learning across all levels. While mask-wearing is no longer mandatory, it is still being encouraged.


Yolanda Gongora

“Vaccinations are still available for children five to eleven years old as well as for persons twelve years and older. We take this opportunity to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated to help them to keep safe and healthy. It is our priority to ensure that our students come out of this pandemic stronger than ever before.”


Sectors such as early childhood development and special education are also being identified as pillars in the education system.  Therefore, the ministry has honed in on inclusiveness and ensuring that differently-abled persons are also engaged in the classroom.

Dian Maheia

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

“We have been able to execute successfully – not just for the first two weeks of August, but since the beginning of this calendar year, an unprecedented number of trainings in special education. Trainings that are geared toward teachers, parents in some cases and even the parent trainings are attended by teachers. There has never been in this country, as much formalised attention that has been put toward raising awareness and helping to support the teachers who are in the classroom managing the teachers with special education needs as has been done over the past few months.”


Francis Fonseca

“Gone are the days when we made decisions for our students without them having a voice; without them having a seat at the table. Young people have to be respected as well; their voices have to be respected; they have to be heard. Everything we do is about our students. All of us are working for them, so we have to listen to them.”


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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