Expanding Access, Assuring Quality, Ensuring Relevance: Strengthening Early Childhood and Secondary Education in Northern Belize

The University of Belize (UB) with assistance from the European Union and the Government of Belize embarked on a new project to expand teacher education in the Northern Districts of Belize. The project provided teacher training opportunities for professional development and access to certification programs for teachers at the early childhood and secondary levels. It also provided community training for parents and education leaders on the importance of early learning and techniques to engage children in early learning activities. The goal was to have a significant increase in the number of trained teachers improving the quality of preschool, pre-primary and secondary education for children of the remote communities in Northern Belize. This initiative was undertaken with financial assistance from the European Development Budget Fund.

Date of Signing and Duration:
July 6, 2015 to February 28, 2018 ( 33 months)

Total Eligible Cost:
EUR 1,211,055.64/ BZD 2, 574, 219.87

Northern District of Belize (Orange Walk and Corozal including rural and urban communities).

Overall Objective:
To increase access to and improve the overall quality of education in Belize.

Specific Objectives:
• To increase access to and professional development programs for teachers at the Earlty Childhood (EC) and Secondary Education levels.
• To improve the quality and relevance of EC and Secondary School teaching in northern Belize.
• To increase access to Early Childhood Education (ECE) for remote communities in northern Belize .

Target Groups:
• Uncertified EC and Secondary Teachers in Northern Belize
• Teachers with full license who require continuing professional development
• Teachers and parents of children at the EC level in remote communities in northern Belize

Final Beneficiaries:
Children and their families in northern Belize

Main Activities:
1. Development and delivery of a Certificate and Associates in ECE
2. Continuous Professional Development Training for in-service ECE teachers
3. Diploma and Bachelors Degree in Secondary Education
4. A radio program and ECE sensitization targeting parents in remote Communities

• The use of research driven innovative instructional practices to include use of experiential approach to learning (micro projects and internship) , problem-based method, inquiry based learning and constructivist, based practices.
• Used instructional coaching methodologies to support internship/practicum.
• Used Moodle-online platform to support face to face instruction.
• Community based participatory approach for parental sensitization program.