Education in Belize: A Legacy of Inaction 1

About Gustavo Ramirez

Gustavo A. Ramirez is an educationist with many years of experience in the field of education. He has worked in capacities as teacher and guidance counselor in secondary schools since 1978, and has been instrumental in incubating and nurturing guidance counseling through systems, curricula and people development, both in Belize and the United States. He writes several columns dealing with the constant need for adapting and embracing “change” in Belize’s Education systems. Ramirez holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology (Guidance Counseling) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin. He attended Holy Redeemer Boys School, St. John‘s College, and St. Michael’s College (Sixth Form/Junior College) in Belize City.

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  • belizeno

    Great article, but it points the obvious thing we already know: we are living in an education system designed for the British Empire of old, for people to work for industrial GB. The real question is how and when do we start real reform? GOB is busy figuring out how to make teachers’ lives a nightmare while our education system continues to ail. The main problem I believe needs to be resolved on the ‘primary’ education way of working, in which one teacher is expected to do million things and be an expert in 8+ subject areas. Now who in their right mind really believes one can effectively ‘be good’ in all subjects, let alone facilitate learning? We borrow all these absurd policies from the US and one of the best things that the US education system has we put aside: Subject Teaching at Primary Levels. As non trivial as it may sound, its actually key to all change in the system. The most obvious reason for this is students will get actual experts in the subject area to teach them that subject area. Anyone with a little child psychology background knows that someone is either good at math, or good at language Very few are good at both. Thus, how can you expect a teacher to teach both, effectively? You can’t is the only answer. However at the root of all the problem is politics in Belize. There will never be this kind of reform because the ego of too many is at stake. Let alone the fact that they would have to ditch the worthless Degrees in ‘Primary Ed’ at U.B. and start educating teachers for the first time: Programs in Math Education, Science Education, IT Education, and ESL would need to surge for the primary classrooms. Also, they would need to dump there entire licensing scheme and start having licenses for different age levels and subjects. Our government dear friends is too lazy and too unambitious for this kind of serious reform. All that matters for them at the end of the day is their own ego, and their own pockets.