Valerie Thompson, I Am Transition Community Foundation
Belize made great progress toward meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)—performing satisfactorily with its health-related investments for child and maternal mortality, environment, and education. However, the country still faces social development challenges: many children lack the basic right to adequate nutrition, water, and sanitation, and struggle to access to quality education.
Belize has made great educational achievements in terms of high net enrollment. In 2012, the net enrollment rate in primary education was 95.3%. The Basic Education Strategy, 2011-2016 speaks to efforts to “increase enrolment and completion at the primary level of schooling.”
There is ongoing education reform sweeping Belize. The 2010 Census indicates that most people in Belize possess basic literacy and numeracy skills; the literacy rate was high in the Belize District (95%) and lowest in the Orange Walk District (80.4%). The Ministry of Education is focusing on improving literacy rates across the country's six major districts: Belize, Cayo, Corozal, Orange Walk, Stann Creek, and Toledo.
In an attempt to alleviate systematic professional development problems, the Ministry is tightening the requirements and standards for new teachers and caregivers in the country. Teacher examinations and applications have been or are being updated, and so the country is primed to more closely align itself with international standards of education.
For more information:
United Nations Development Programme. (2013). Millennium Development Goals Report and Post 2015 Agenda: Belize. An objective update on MDG progress which represents Belize’s people-centred development approach.