Primary school


No Garifuna at First Caribbean Bank 2

The Belize Garifuna community in Dangriga and employees of the bank have made allegations of Racism and Discrimination against the Garifuna people that they cannot speak their native tongue at the bank. As if was not hard enough for the Garifuna people trying to keep their culture alive as it is, this banks adds to the already heavy load. The Statistical Institute of Belize reported in its 2010 Census, that the Garifuna people is the second largest ethnic group in the Stann Creek District, who continue to contribute to the growth and development of Belize. Furthermore, the Garifuna language was […]


Education in Belize: Breaking Free (Part II) 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant This past week I received very many emails and Facebook messages with readers’ comments regarding my thoughts on Belize’s September celebrations of Independence, and on its “Breaking Free”.  Since this topic resonated with many readers, especially Belizeans who shared their many thoughts on the subject with me, this week I offer more ideas along these lines. To break oneself free of a habit or custom, whether it’s positive or negative, is by far much easier said than done.  Adapting to change is never easy for anyone, especially when he/she is set […]


Education in Belize: Are Graduates Prepared Today and Students Being Prepared for Tomorrow? 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Our most precious resource, whether in Belize or anywhere else throughout the world, will always be our children!  The rapidly growing tourism industry in Belize boasts the Caribbean Sea and Barrier Reef, many Maya ruins, our diverse cultures living side by side, an exotic rain forest, and many other attractions, and is currently one of the top sources of revenue for our government.  Nevertheless, there is no guarantee whatsoever that tourism in Belize will always flourish or produce continuous revenue to the country.  Our sugar, timber, citrus, and other agricultural industries […]


Belize: Embracing Change in Education 5

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant Recently, I referred to the United States of America’s report, “A Nation at Risk”, published over 30 years ago by that country’s Education Department to urge an overhaul of how and what their young people were being taught in schools.  In June of this year, Belize’s Education Department released a Report of the 2013 PSE Results of Proficiency Examinations for Primary School students.  The Results showed Primary school students in Belize lagging far behind where they should be in Education, especially in areas of Reading (English) and Math. Both Reports were […]


Belize: A Nation at Risk 4

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant My favorite and most often used Chinese proverb reminds us simply that a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. Thirty years ago the Education Department of the United States of America published a report, “A Nation at Risk”, to urge an overhaul of how/what their young people were taught in schools. Why? Data gathered over many years showed that young students in that country were “behind” where they should be in Education. The Report was a “wake-up call” for the country. As of today, educators in that […]


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 […]


YaYa Marin Coleman raised concerns about St. Martin Primary 2

Originally Posted By Rifqa on Jun 20, 2013 in Belize Unboxed From: YaYa Marin Coleman     Wed, Sep 05, 2012 at 11:52 AM To: Office of the Ombudsman, Belize The Letter from the Ombudsman Greetings, On August 15, 2012 I received a letter from the Office of the Ombudsman regarding a complaint that I lodged about the Education Board’s failure to act. Enclosed in the envelope was a letter from Sister Barbara Flores, General Manager of Catholic Public Schools, in which she responded to a meeting that the President of St Martins De Porres PTA, Andrea O’Connor and I had […]


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 […]


Ready or Not, Here We Are! 4

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant June is a month for Graduations, annual rites of passage and new beginnings for students in Belize and throughout the world. Young teenagers complete Primary/Elementary School (Standard 6) while older teenagers graduate from Secondary (High School), and adults graduate from Tertiary (Sixth Form or University).  Most of the students who graduate from Primary (Standard 6) typically will head straight into a High School or Technical School, if their families can afford to pay for it, while students who leave or graduate from High School will enter the workforce, the military, or […]


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 […]


A NEW BEGINNING? 2

By Gustavo A. Ramirez, Guidance Counselor / Education Consultant According to Maya wisdom, 2012 completed a significant calendar cycle. Also, in 2012 Belize held General and Municipal Elections and the majority chose to keep most of the same people/party in government. The Minister of Education, his entire ministry, the Chief Education Officer, and Heads of various Churches continue to head/steer our Belizean Education Systems and Programs. However, how many of these leaders work directly with our young people on a day-to-day basis? How do they keep abreast of 21st Century challenges that keep “adding up” in Primary and Secondary schools […]