Belize was to get an Education Network but?

Back in 2011 there was some movement apparently made to get a Network setup that would improve the Education sector in Belize. Partnered with CKLN, the UB was to hold meetings and plan a road to get us “up to speed” in the technology area that is much-needed in Belize. That was early 2011, and we are now already at mid 2013.  As of today, no one has heard anything about this planned Network setup.  We have made several inquiries, all over and no one seems to know anything about it.

What a shame that today, after Belize has incurred Millions, if not Billions of dollars in Debt due to mismanagement and ignorant spending and abuses of the GOB, both past and present (especially the supposed nationalization of BTL) we are still in the same under-developed place where we’ve always been.  Members of GOB are quite wealthy, and live comfortably, while most schools have no computer labs or technology IT classes whatsoever.  The few schools that do have computers get them through private donations.  As far as computer connections are concerned, they’re worth less than salt. Students who must use the slow speeds that are offered in Belize could never complete research in a timely manner – internet connections crawl at a turtle’s pace in Belize.

Computers have revolutionized the world today.  We need to take advantage of the power and introduce and utilize it in our schools in Belize. Children easily learn how to work with computers at an early age; and despite the disadvantages that computers may provide, the positive advantages they provide far outweigh any negatives.  Let us teach our children in Belize how to use computers properly.

The most important feature of this technology revolution is the ease of access to information to the world.  The internet serves the function of a virtual library and because of this fact, students with proper guidance can have access to nearly any piece of information they need for their studies. Another benefit is that it lessens the time students need to research.  What once took days now only takes minutes or hours.

To add to the basic benefits of advanced technology, there are also online tools that are available and developed specifically for education.  An example of those Tools includes the Kahn Academy. Other tools include the use of additional videos on a subject being discussed in class. Educational games are another factor that can be included in the ring.

As for faculty and staff, bringing technology into the Education system allows educators to centralize their work, share experiences online, network with each other to develop new paradigms and programs to better the system. Technology can be used to keep parents involved in the progress of their child as well as allow for guidance counseling to be used more in schools and allow the counselors a network within which to work.

The benefits of technology are limited only by the resources that are willingly being put into the system and the creativity of the people who use and maintain the infrastructure.

If anyone knows anything about, or has an update about this UB and CKLN network setup, please let us know so we can share it with all schools.  Thank you for leaving a comment below.

UB partners with Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network to develop a National Research and Education Network for Belize

by Office of Public Information

The University of Belize (UB), in collaboration with the Caribbean Knowledge Learning Network (CKLN), will host national consultations with public/private sector stakeholders at 9:00 a.m. respectively on April 29 and May 3 at NEMO Conference Room, Belmopan to chart the way forward in developing a draft National Research and Education Network (NREN) Blueprint for Belize.

The consultation is designed to build awareness and the internal capacity to bring into being a sustainable national research and education network to be connected to C@ribNET.”

Facilitators for the national event include the President, Telecom/Telematique, Lynne Gallagher, Lishan Adam and Carlton A Samuels from CKLN.

It is envisioned that stakeholders will agree on the way forward for the establishment of the national research and education network (NREN) initiative in Belize.

NREN, viewed as a vital component of modern teaching, research and learning is best described as a high performance national network connecting academic and research institutions.

Higher education in Belize is comprised of the University of Belize, the national university, 10 public junior colleges, one private university, UWI School of Continuing Studies, and two off‐shore medical schools.

The development of Research and Education Network in Belize will create an opportunity for collaboration between academic and research institutions nationally, regionally and internationally.

The establishment of a National Research and Education Networks in Belize will provide a high‐speed and low cost broadband network for research organizations to link up to each other and carry out collaborative research or applications; promote linkages between the academic and research community, industry, government and other regional and
international research and educational networks, and promotes Caribbean level and international collaboration.

At present, there are approximately a hundred countries in the world have adopted NREN as the centerpiece of their information and communication technology (ICT) plan for tertiary education institutions and for connecting research institutes and others such as schools and hospitals to each other and global networks.

Recognizing that the Caribbean region including Belize has largely been excluded from the development of NREN networks, CARICOM established CKLN in 2004 as an intergovernmental agency with the mission to build capacity in the areas of education and training through initiatives that will enhance and grow the regional human resource outputs.

The development of Research and Education Network in Belize will create an opportunity for collaboration between academic and research institutions and in this context will facilitate their onward connectivity to the Caribbean Network (C@ribNet) and to other global network, thereby fostering academic collaboration worldwide.

In essence, the interconnection of universities, colleges and research institutions will provide an opportunity to use local resources to solve local problem by bringing them closer to local researchers.

The University of Belize (UB)…Education Empowers A Nation!


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