"No longer forgotten," that's how Education Minister, Patrick Faber put it in yesterday's official opening of 1 eight classroom building at the Georgetown Technical High school campus, located in the Stann Creek District.

It is the first of several buildings being constructed as part of an expansion project funded by the European Union for One point Seven million Belize dollars.

The additional buildings will allow an additional 400 secondary education age students easier access to an education:

Hon. Patrick Faber, Minister of Education
"Excellency we wish that you take back our deepest gratitude to the European Union please let them know that we are very happy about the contributions and that we judge our friends by contributions to education. They say I am bias when I say that but if you want to look at a true measure of friendship you look at what our neighbors, our countries and our friends give us in terms of education because that is something that cannot be taken away from us and that is something that can help us in our development. But my friends I will tell you that while we are grateful to the European Union that it is not through the efforts of the European Union alone that these projects are coming to fruition, it is as a result and it is no mistake by the effort of your government. It is a specifically targeted intervention particularly here in the south in order to change things around. You know how they have said about the southern districts that you are the forgotten districts - that you get whatever is left after the other districts share up whatever piece of the pie is out there, you know that that is the common thing here in our country and I want to tell you that it is by design, it is by conscious effort that your government and this minister and this ministry of education has made a conscientious move to change things around."

H.E. Marco M. Alemanni, EU Ambassador
"We would like the young people, the students to know that the investment we are making here what you see today - that building, plus all the other buildings that are under construction now and those that will come after that and also the 6 classroom building at Independence High school - all of that cost $5.5 million dollars. I really want to address myself once to you guys and girls students, how come that it was so difficult to teach high school here and how come that some of you had to learn under thatch roofs, it's not because the government doesn't care, it's because in this area there has been a tremendous growth of population and why has there been a tremendous growth of population? because fortunately this area is growing economically, there is great growth on this area and I know that a lot of your parents work in citrus or in shrimps or in hotels, restaurants and I know that most of those firms, most of those companies are headed by foreigners, so the reason why you are here girls and boys it's because you must get ready to replace those foreigners."

The expansion will provide access to secondary education to those living in the 15 villages and communities within the banana belt area. At completion, the entire project will comprise two-eight classroom buildings, one-two story ferro-concrete building with four classrooms. It is expected to be completed in 2011.

Channel 7