Education Consultant


Education in Belize: Strengthening the Balance, Part II (Leaders) 1

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Last year November, I wrote an article to remind students and teachers alike of the importance of always maintaining and Strengthening the Balance between each other in the classroom and while at school.  Teachers and students will work productively and smoothly when they treat Education in the classroom as a two-way, not one-way, process.  In other words, despite what many people (especially parents who had limited schooling) may have believed in the past, or may still do, students are not sponges who merely go to school to soak up knowledge from […]


Education in Belize: From Vulnerability to Growth! 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Since I started publishing short articles to describe, not define, past and current Education systems in Belize, some educators claim that I seem unfair and ungrateful to them, and that I should criticize/blame no one other than students themselves for their failures at school and during the learning process.  I have stated before, and now loudly repeat: I highly admire and respect all teachers who devote their professional lives to helping educate others, especially young people.  Anyone who chooses to pursue the teaching profession as a career deserves the maximum respect […]


Education in Belize: Enthusiasm! How long can/will it last? 3

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant A family member of mine recently commented to me how very enthusiastic his youngest son is to be returning to Primary (Elementary) school this week, after a long summer vacation away from school.  My first thought about that comment: How wonderful to see a young student enthusiastic about returning to school to continue disciplined learning!  My second thought: I wonder how long that enthusiasm will last…  My concluding thought:  What should we educators and parents keep doing to instill and maintain that enthusiasm for learning in all students, everyday all year […]


Quality Education: English, Math, and Science! 4

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant The recent 2013 PSE low proficiency scores bombshell has provided the local media in Belize with some hot news items for the country to follow for a few newscasts; it has also provided a few juicy and eye-catching headlines for online and hard copy local newspapers. Teachers are using this attention-grabbing bombshell to try to win the public to their side, and at the same time publicize their unfair working conditions, including salaries. Even the public finally seems interested in demanding a good Education for our children! Still, no one seems […]


Accountability and Alignment in Education 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Following this month’s release of very low proficiency scores for primary school students who took the 2013 PSE examinations, “Education” has suddenly become a heated topic in Belize. Prior to the release of the PSE outcomes, the topic of Education was discussed mostly by educators and perhaps a few concerned parents. Now, it continues to make news, and draws gut-wrenching reactions and strongly-voiced negative opinions (“that’s not how it’s done”) from parents, businessmen, politicians, and almost everyone in Belize. However, what seems ironic (even hypocritical) is that a large portion of […]


What Follows Low Proficiency Scores? 3

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant According to the recently released results of the 2013 PSE (Public School Examinations) proficiency exams, more than half of all exiting Primary school students throughout Belize ranked poorly in English and Math. The results that were released to the media show that 53% of the 7359 students who took the exams were assessed as not proficient. The median score in English was 58% while in Math it remained steady at around 54% as the previous year. These low proficiency scores indicate loudly that our students in Primary schools are not learning […]


Common Misconceptions of Education 7

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Previously, we discussed the issue of parents and guardians who seem neglectful and show very little, if any, interest in their children’s day-to-day work, or lack of work, at school.  However, I made it clear that there’s nothing to be gained when educators or PTA parents point fingers at students’ parents who do not regularly participate in school activities, or communicate regularly with teachers, or attend school and PTA meetings.  We do not help students to learn by judging their parents or by comparing one parent to another.  How, then, do […]


Wake Up And Smell The Coffee — Again! 14

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant This week’s article focuses on an issue that I have been asked many times before to address.  Since 1978 I have worked as a professional educator, both as teacher and guidance counselor, in high schools and classrooms throughout Belize and in the United States.  Working alongside students, fellow educators, and many concerned and hard-working parents in Parent Teacher Associations, I have tried repeatedly to address this situation that continues to baffle many teachers.  The issue I refer to affects both students and educators every single day, and is a frustrating classroom […]


EDUCATION REDEFINED? 8

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Recently, a reader and grandmother of two high school students asked me if I thought that our responsibilities to teach our children today have changed.  She pointed out the many drastic changes in the lifestyles and attitudes of young people today compared to when we were teenagers in the 1960’s.  She suggested that perhaps we need to redefine the meaning and purpose of Education in the 21st Century.  My response is that I firmly believe that no matter what age we live in, our responsibilities to teach young people, especially our […]


RESPONSIBILITY TO WHOM AND FOR WHAT? 4

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant In my articles I try to point out and describe to readers, both inside and outside of Belize, the many responsibilities as well as the essential needs of educators, students, parents, and the community/country at large. The bottom line and ultimate goal of each article presented in this column and on RESPONSIBILITY TO WHOM AND FOR WHAT? is to encourage each individual, not only students but the entire country, to keep improving and growing productively in the new 21st Century. My recent observations and striking descriptions (with apologies to no one) […]


EDUCATORS FOR SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY 8

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant In previous articles I pointed out that presently many of our people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, to survive ever-increasing hard times.  However, as pitiful and miserable as our current violent situations may be, positive change for the better is always within our control.  We will improve on any out-of-hand or dangerous situations in which we live today once we choose to cease living in pathetic, but comfortable, conditions of “learned helplessness”.  (See belizeguidance.blogspot.com for definition.)   It is sad that many of us choose to live under […]


LEARNED HELPLESSNESS 5

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant In a previous article I pointed out that in 2013 (too) many people in Belize are struggling, day in and day out, and trying to survive ever-increasing “hard times”. During these very difficult times life gets harder and harder with each passing day. Yet, as of today, I see no public action whatsoever being taken, no suggestions being made, to try to lower the extremely high unemployment rate (especially of highly educated citizens), widespread poverty, gangs openly and violently taking anything and everything they choose from hard-working Belizeans, the dozens of […]