UB Launches Master’s in Educational Leadership in Orange Walk
The University of Belize (UB) officially launched its new Master’s in Education Leadership at the Gala Lounge in Orange Walk Town on Friday, March 8th, 2019. This program was developed jointly with the Vancouver, Canada based Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the intergovernmental organization created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to promote the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.
The Master’s of Education Leadership aims to advance Belize’s existing framework in education, with a focus to incorporate broad contemporary concepts of leadership, which can be applied to the educational sector, especially our schools and colleges. Therefore, the program will develop the capacity of Belize’s existing and future teachers and administrators into competent and effective leaders who will guide our schools and educational institutions for national development. The addition of the Master’s program complements UB’s Education programs at the Associate and Bachelor level.
The launch saw the participation of UB’s many stakeholders, including the program’s first cohort of thirty-eight students, the Ministry of Education, and various government and quasi-government agencies. Informational and insightful presentations were made from the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ministry of Education, the Mayor of Orange Walk, the focal point officer for the Commonwealth of Learning in Belize, the President and the Dean of Faculty of Education and Arts of the University of Belize.
UB Hosts ICJ Youth Forum
The issue of the ICJ is one of national importance and one which will impact every Belizean, present and future. As such, the University of Belize (UB), as the national university, recognizes the importance of ensuring all Belizeans are informed on this matter, particularly our young people.
Within this context, UB hosted an ICJ Youth Forum, where it made presentations to delegations of 300 students from junior colleges, the ITVETs and several youth- rehabilitation centers. The forum aimed to allow students of this voting age to become knowledgeable of the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute and to discuss the merits/demerits of submitting the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the ICJ.
Students were also able to vote in a mock referendum, where they were asked to vote in favor of or against, taking the Belize-Guatemala territorial dispute to the ICJ.
Of an audience of 300 participants, a total of 120 voted. The votes were are as follows:
64 – YES
56 – NO.
The University of Belize is pleased to see students provide thought and direction on Belize’s path forward and would like to thank its partners in education for a successful forum as well as our sponsors, who saw the importance of ensuring our leaders of tomorrow have a space to voice their opinions.
As Belize’s national university, the University of Belize is committed to the principle of representative democracy and will continue to champion spaces such as today’s youth forum that will strengthen and provide a space to reflect the voices of Belize’s young people.
Indian High Commissioner Tours the IBCE
The Indian High Commissioner, Ambassador Muktesh Pardeshi, who is based in Mexico City, made a visit to UB’s Belmopan Campus to inspect the progress being made on the India-Belize Center for Engineering’s buildings and the receipt of the engineering equipment from India. The Ambassador was pleased with the progress made by UB to date to get the Engineering Centre developed. A work in progress.
UB President Participates in Prime Minister’s Forum
The President was invited to participate in the Prime Minister’s Forum held on February 21, 2019 at the Belize City Civic Center. The President was asked to speak on “The Digital Ecosystem Framework: The National University of Belize’s Commitment to Human Development”. The President noted that to propel innovation, “The prerequisite for creating an innovative society is education of its citizens. Investing in education, and tertiary education in particular will drive the innovativeness and competitiveness of a nation through training of high level professionals. Knowledge in their disciplines but ingrained with a culture of critical and creative thinking, with a spirit of inquiry and problem solving and who are empowered to implement change – to execute.
The ecosystem that supports higher education and innovation should encompass the public sector – the Government of Belize, the private sector – business, industries and the training, research and development institutions – with the national University of Belize being a critical element. This must be a partnership, as individually none can succeed alone for Belize’s advancement.”
UB receives BZ$ 900 from three Canadian Student Interns to Plant Trees on the Belmopan Campus
Canadian student interns Joe Renton, Paige Crowell and Joanna Dicks donated Canadian $200 each to purchase trees. This is part of a Canadian government initiative to purchase and plant trees in the University where the students intern. They were in Belize for a semester at the Environmental Research Institute, UB as part of the International Youth Internship Program (IYIP), funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC). The UB Campus Beautification Committee and the University’s President thank the interns for their generous and thoughtful donation.
UB’s History Students Participate on ICJ Panels
Our History Department had four (4) students representing the University of Belize in two ICJ discussions February 27th, 2019– one was held at the Bliss Institute in Belize City (broadcasted by Love FM) and organized by the Rotary Club and one at the Welcome Center in San Ignacio (broadcasted by KREM Radio). We had three student representatives in Belize City, one for the yes vote (Ian Young), one for the no vote (Christian Cansino) and one alternate (Kevin Berganza) if in case one student was unable to be a panelist. We had one student representative (Abbie Godoy) in San Ignacio; she was there as a University student and to be the voice for her generation.
Ms. April Martinez who coached the students attended the one at the Bliss Institute and twelve (12) History students accompanied her to support our panelists. These panelists were there to be the voice of the students, educate the audience and present their views on the ICJ. The interaction from the audience was a positive one and our students were well prepared for this discussion based on their statements and answers to the audience.
Students and lecturers from the Faculty of Management and Social Sciences (FMSS) and the Faculty of Education and Arts from the Belize City Campuses were in the audience accompanied by the Dean, FMSS and Chair (FEA) Belize and the Dean of Student Affairs. The University of Belize congratulates our History Department students on a job well-done.
UB Meets with CEO Dr. Percival Cho
Dr. Percival Cho, Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment and Sustainable Development and Immigration, visited our campus and met with Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat, Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon and Mr. Arnulfo Knatun of the Institutional Advancement Office. The meeting focused on how the Ministry and the University can collaborate on Research and Development projects that can impact on sustainable development and preservation of our environment. A suitable Memorandum of Agreement is being developed to foster this work and relevant Faculty will be informed more on this development.
UB Early Childhood Stimulation Center Celebrates Childhood Stimulation Month
“Hug Me, Listen to Me, Read with Me, Help Me Grow!” is the theme for this year’s Child Stimulation Month and the UB Early Childhood Stimulation Center is celebrating with fun activities for the young children.
Bird banding and Birding activity at UB Belmopan Campus
Bachelor Biology students in the Natural History of Vertebrates class were treated to the bird diversity of Belmopan campus on Saturday February 2nd. Ms. Abidas Ash from ERI, along with Mr. Eduardo Barrientos, Field Technician, Science Dept., Mr. Alson Ovando, NRM student and Dr. Latha Thomas, FST lecturer assisted in the activities. Birds were trapped using mist nets and after careful observation of their features such as sex, age, health; they were banded and released. A walk through the campus revealed around 25 species of birds including to the excitement of everyone, a group of early migrant visitors from USA, the Cedar Waxwings.
Students Celebrate International Mother Language Day
The Inno’on La Oh Student Club celebrated International Mother Language Day on February 27, 2019 at the Belmopan Campus. The event included stories in the Mopan Maya, Que’ Chi and Yucatec languages and also harp music. The attendants also had the opportunity to enjoy the traditional sweet tortilla.
HR Department Trainings – Supervisor and Customer Service
The session for supervisors was to assist them in recognizing and understanding their roles as Human Resource agents as a part of their regular functions. The session covered the basics of Human Resource Management and allowed for supervisors to take a deeper look into the University’s Faculty and Staff Handbook specifically as it relates to discipline and performance appraisals. The session targeted senior and middle managers and was conducted by our HR Director Ms. Hertha Gentle.
As it relates to customer service, the session was geared towards improving the customer service skills of our front-line personnel, including but not limited to secretaries, accounts personnel, Records personnel and general admin staff. The staff were exposed to topics like telephone etiquette, dressing for the office, handling difficult customer etc. The session was very interactive and saw staff involved in roles plays. The session was conducted by Ms. Sharett Yearwood – Lecturer and Chair from the Faculty of Management and Social Science -Belize City.
Meeting with Police Regarding Campus Security
The President and the Acting Chief Public Safety Officer, Mr. John Salam, have been following up on the matter of increased security in and around the Campus. The President, Mr. John Salam and Mr. Francis Burns have been touring the Belmopan Campus and evaluating potential areas of vulnerability. Increased lighting and traffic control through the Campus were identified as areas to be worked upon. The Department of Public Safety also had a meeting with Inspector Santiago Pott of the Belmopan Police Department and the President also met with him.
Semester Kick Off 2019
Semester “Kick Off” was held on Wednesday February 20, 2019 at the Gazebo commencing at 1:30 p.m. and culminating at 5:00 p.m.
The purpose of Semester Kick off is to contribute to the improvement of Student Life on Campus. Promoting Students Participation/Involvement in order to enjoy a memorable Student life on campus.
This event is held for the participation and the benefit of all students, faculty and staff of the University of Belize. This year we had the participation of 16 Booths displaying student organizations that students can join on Campus. The booths highlighted student clubs, services and opportunities at the University of Belize.
The “Kick off” was closed with an ice-cream eating contest sponsored by Christians on Campus along with hot dogs sponsored by Student Government.
UB Students Participate in Youth Mainstreaming Conference
On February 27 – March 1, the University of Belize was offered the opportunity to send youth representatives for the three day “Youth Mainstreaming in Development Planning” conference held at the Biltmore Hotel in Belize City. UB was represented by Tivi Ramos, Tara Scarborough, Danay Chavarria and Elaida Coc. Each participant acted as a consultant in the achievement of the overall objectives of the conference which were:
1. To arrive at an increased understanding and consensus on the principles, approaches and outcomes of youth-centric national planning.
2. To enhance participant capacities in the use of tools and techniques of analyses, planning and implementation and monitoring and evaluation for youth mainstreaming.
3. To arrive at a discussed and agreed strategic framework for youth mainstreaming in Belize, for initial directions for the Commonwealth Caribbean.
4. To identify key stakeholders and first steps for an accountability mechanism for Belize.
UBFSA holds ICJ Presentation
The presentation on the Belize-Guatemala dispute that occurred on February 20, 2019 was a collaborative effort between The University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association(UBFSA) and the History Department. On April 10, 2019, Belizeans will be asked to vote on whether or not they want to go to the International Court of Justice to resolve the Belize-Guatemala Dispute. Consequently, the UBSFA felt that it was part of their obligation to ensure that faculty and staff were well informed on Guatemala’s claim to Belize and the proposed settlement of submitting the issue to the International Court of Justice. The presenters for the session were Mr. Cesar Ross, lecturer of the History & Anthropology Department at the University of Belize and Ambassador Alexis Rosado, Belize’s Ambassador to the Republic of Guatemala. Following the opening ceremony, Ms. Erica Aguilar, director of ceremony, asked everyone for a moment of silence in memory of Mr. Joseph Sampson (UB’s history lecturer), Masaki Yanai and Dwayne Cummings (UB’s students).
As part of the informative session, Ambassador Rosado presented facts about Belize Guatemala dispute and Mr. Cesar Ross shared the historical context. Among others, the question and answer session included questions about the treaties, the legitimacy of Belize’s borders, the trustworthiness of the members of the International Court of Justice, and the risks and benefits about submitting the dispute to the ICJ. Overall, the session was very informative and interactive.
Creative Mural Painted at RLC Building
The National Student Union of Belize (NSUB), in conjunction with artist Everett Reynolds from Waukegan Illinois, decided to paint a mural depicting Belize’s Mayan and African Heritage. The artist has been living in Chicago for the past 11 years but grew up in Belize prior to. Everett is a self-taught artist who has gained international recognition for his talent and passion for art. He was visiting his home country for a period of two weeks when he painted this mural at the University of Belize Central Campus. The Student Union heard of his visit by word of mouth and thereupon made contact. Nonetheless, the mural serves as a prelude to a series of other murals that will highlight other aspects of Belize’s multicultural heritage and will be painted across other campuses in Belize. The Union hopes to collaborate with other Belizean artists that reside both in the country and abroad and to encourage students to express their artistic talents being a part of this activity. The NSUB believes it important to promote Belize’s national identity in an ever changing society. The union would like to thank the ISCR (The Institute for Social and Cultural Research) for financial support, the staff at the University of Belize’s Physical Plant Management and to all the students who participated in making this mural a reality.
UB students also displayed their creativity by painting the flags of the different countries that are represented at UB. The President congratulates all who made their creative displays on our campus possible.
President with Department of Youth Services and Commonwealth to Discuss Education and Crime
A team representing the Government of Belize and Commonwealth visited the University of Belize on February 25, 2019 to get the University’s perspectives on priorities for Youth Services in Belize. There was a strong focus on education and training for young people, especially those young males in our urban centres and who may fall prey to criminal activities. Education and skills training, employment opportunities, new housing opportunities for neglected communities were also discussed, from a Caribbean perspective also.
UB Meets with UT Tyler
A team from the University of Texas at Tyler led by Dr. Thomas Guderjan visited the University of Belize including the Department of Engineering in Freetown Road. The UB and University of Tyler have developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is focused on partnering in key new developmental areas of Archaeology and Anthropology in the History Department and possibly Engineering, from Faculty of Science and Technology. It is expected that this MOU will be signed by the Presidents of Tyler and UB in May/June of 2019.
Recruitment Meeting to Review Strategies
The President summoned a meeting of UB’s team on recruitment led by Admissions Coordinator Mrs. Camilla Barker and Registrar Mrs. Rose Pineda on February 26, 2019. Recruitment strategies for all of our programs were reviewed. The President noted that all at UB are Ambassadors of our University and hence promoting our University.
Meeting with NICH to Follow Up on MOU
Having signed a MOU with National Institute of Culture and History (NICH) in 2018, there was a follow up meeting on February 26, 2019 with representatives of NICH to treat with pressing areas of collaboration in the Creative Arts and in History. Dr. John Morris, Director of the Institute of Archaeology, and Mr. Gregory Vernon, Director of Institute of Creative Arts represented NICH, with a representative from the Ministry of Education (Culture) also present. President Sankat, Mr. Arnulfo Kantun and Chair in the Faculty of Education and Arts represented UB.
President Meets with Representatives from University of Edinburgh Napier
Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat and Vice President Dr. Mariot Simon met with Mr. Grant Mackerron, Academic Director of The Business School of Edinburgh Napier, and Mr. Andrew Cawley, CEO of Southpoint Education International on March 7, 2019. This meeting explored areas for potential collaboration with the Scottish University.
President Visits Agricultural Schools in the North
The President along with Mr. Arnulfo Kantun and lecturer Mr. Francisco Tzul paid a visit to the Belize High School of Agriculture (BHSA) in San Lazaro, Orange Walk and met with its Principal Ms. Lisbeth Delgado. The President also had the opportunity to speak to the Fourth form students and some Faculty members. He explained the importance of food and agriculture and encouraged some to continue their studies at the University of Belize, with opportunity from Certificate through Associate Degree to a Bachelor’s Degree. President also toured the faculties with the Principal, herself an UB alumna.
President, Mr. Kantun and Mr. Tzul also made a similar tour to the ITVET in Corozal, and met with its Principal, Mr. Elbert Worrell and some Faculty, at least one of whom was a graduate of the UB Central Farm Campus.
UB Meets with the Resident Representative of JICA in Belize
The purpose of the meeting was to follow up on the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported programme at the Regional Language Center, in Spanish Language Education. This facilitates the training of Japanese students who come to Belize. The President thanked JICA for its support of our RLC Language Program.
Taiwanese Ambassador Visits UB
The new Taiwanese Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Remus Chen, brought a delegation from the Taiwanese Hospital Group, including Li-Chen Liu – Director, Chi Mei Medical Center International Affair Department; Yu-Feng Tian, MD – Medical Deputy Superintendent and Ying-Chieh Su so as to give them an appreciation of the University of Belize and its current and future work as a Faculty of Health Sciences. The Group heard from the Dean of the Faculty, Ms. Leolin Castillo and Dr. George Gough, President of the Belize Medical Council. Dr. Fred Shyu, member of the UB Board of Trustees facilitated the visit, and for this the University of Belize is very appreciative.
Ambassador of Cuba Pays Courtesy Visit to UB President
The Cuban Ambassador H.E. Lissette Perez Perez along with Counselor Orestes Hernandez made a courtesy call on the President of UB on March 12, 2019. Future areas of collaboration between UB and the Cuban Embassy were discussed, beginning with the Cuban movie entitled, “Forbidden Flights” which was screened at UB at the Jaguar Auditorium on March 14, 2019 as part of the NICH’s “VIII Traveling Caribbean Film Showcase”.