In January of this year, the Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, said that sixty percent of teachers have no pedagogical training. The remarks were made in the context of the heat he was getting on the issue of Corporal Punishment. Today the minister commissioned a set of senior educators to help in the process of enhancing that level of service, through teacher training. The Belize Board of Teacher Education’s job will be to assure that the quality of teacher training is adequate and relevant. Its functions will be to make recommendations in respect of the new legislation in the Education and Training Act of 2010. Faber says the time is now to raise the bar.

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“The statistics in our country are showing us that education is in dire states int his country as compared to other countries in the region. Three percent enrollment at tertiary, under thirty percent enrollment at early childhood education, forty-five percent enrollment at secondary, eighty-two percent enrollment at primary. We have a lot of work to do and this is not something new. We have seen it deteriorating over the course of time and we sit down and wait and we wait and we wait and we plan and we plan and we plan and we plan and we don’t do anything about it. So there is now a sense of urgency that needs to happen.”

So how effective will this new Board be in improving teacher training? Faber thinks there is going to be improvement but it will take some time.

Patrick Faber

“It will take some time for us to see the fruits of the labor of these kinds of initiatives being taken by the Ministry of Education. Our certificate in primary Education program as I pointed out targeted some eight hundred and fifty teachers—we are up to five hundred of those teachers and we will see that the effect of their training will be taking on in the primary schools. Now there are also initiatives that the ministry is taking to deal with literacy for instance in the early parts of primary school. So it will take some time before they will actually get to the point where they will be taking the P.S.E. for us to see the benefits of that. But from our own observations, from the evaluations that we do in our ministry, we already seeing a very, very great success with the literacy program and of course with the training of these teachers at the primary level as well.”

The new board is made up of fourteen senior educators.

Channel 5