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Schools on Ambergris Caye

Posted By: CaptOneIron

Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 02:36 PM

Folks I am having a hard time figuring out which schools are which here on the island. I see desperate appeals for help from one school and then another and not to mention polyclinics and all sorts of other needy organizations.

Would someone take the time to post on here all the schools on the island and the age groups they serve, which religious or state entity they are affiliated with and the source of their funding.

I know it's a pain but for some of us that have been here for a relatively short time it is all very confusing (much like the difference between 4 mil and 4K) that was recently posted.

Thanks
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 02:47 PM

# one mentioned should be The San Pedro Roman Catholic Primary School
its the only public school on the island of Ambergris Caye. Most of the public schools in Belize are affiliated with a church.
It is a standard Belizean school patterned after the British system of education. Students enroll at age 5 into Beginners (kindergarten) and continue through to Standard VI (the equivalent of 8th grade).
The present enrollment is approximately 650 students in 22 classrooms.
//ambergriscaye.com/school/index.html
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 02:50 PM

Ambergris Caye Elementary School (A.C.E.S.) is a private school that has been operating since 2007 and has come a long way in obtaining great academic achievements. And this school year they are operating at their new school grounds on Turtle Street, just one block from the original location.

ACES has a total of five classrooms in the building and has classes from Infant I to Standard VI. There are presently 29 students enrolled at ACES and there is space available for anyone interested in attending ACES.
//ambergriscaye.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/388004/ACES_at_New_School_Grounds.html
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 02:54 PM

The Island Academy
accepts students from age 5 to 14

http://www.theislandacademy.com/
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 02:57 PM

San Pedro High School.
San Pedro High now own its own campus and building. It is run in a 2 storey ferro-concrete building with 2 offices, a teachers offices, 6 classrooms, a music room, a science laboratory, typing room, computer laboratory, library, lobby and even a teachers' quarters.
Today the enrollment is of 200 with an average graduating class of 30.
//ambergriscaye.com/highschool/index.html
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:00 PM

La Isla Bonita Elementary School
grades K-6. Students from San Pedro Town, on the island of Ambergris Caye attend this school

There are 40 students and 5 staff
//ambergriscaye.com/labonita/index.html
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:01 PM

St. Peter's Elementary consists of classes from Infant I to Standard VI with five teachers and a total of 168
//ambergriscaye.com/stpeters/index.html
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:07 PM

New Horizon SDA School in the DFC.
cant find enrollment # on line.
A primary school aprox . 250 students
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:12 PM

Plus a number of preschools I cant list
I'm sure I've forgotten some.
Oh yes there is that one in the swamp that gets all the publicity.
Holy Cross Anglican school
http://www.holycrossbelize.org/
Posted By: SnoopysMom

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:13 PM

On another thread, it was mentioned that over 300 children had been turned down for admission to Holy Cross (an attempt to limit classroom size). Is it possible that they are not enrolled anywhere?
Posted By: elbert

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 03:46 PM

Is it possible they don't exist? Do you think Wilson would exaggerate an emotional issue to get donations?
Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 06:28 PM

Thank you Elbert. I am afraid it all still seems rather strange and haphazard to me. Is there no central registration for school age children? Is it possible that children are simply not going to school because there are no spaces available? Is there any kind of licensing or accreditation authority for schools?

When you use the terms public and private are they being used in the English or American sense?

I am not trying to start anything here. I am just very curious because of all the various comments posted here and elsewhere about the schools.

Thank you again.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 06:44 PM

I have been told 11,000 children do not go to school in Belize, not because there is no places, but it is too do with the parents.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 07:27 PM

Good question, Martin ......
"Public Schools" has the American meaning, not the English one in this case.

There is no central registry of children in particular - everybody is supposed to register their existence somewhere, but there are lots of remote places where that does not happen.

Attending school is mandatory until age 14, but (here's the rub) even in the "public" school there is a fee for books and you have to buy a uniform too. Some people can't afford this for their children. Other kids are in really remote areas where it is deemed either too difficult, unsafe or downright impossible for the families to get them to school and back each day. And unfortunately there are some parents who would prefer to have their kids working instead of going to school.

GOB contracts out San Pedro's primary school program to the Roman Catholic church - hence a public school that is church-run.

There are also some private schools here and there that provide a service deemed sufficiently important (such as being in an area where the public school is overcrowded) that they get some sort of subvention from GoB.

From what I can tell, each area and the people in it are doing their best to work with ever-changing circumstances.

The kids take standardized tests nation-wide.

There are more than a few kids being home-schooled on the island through a variety of programs available in print and online.

I hope that is a little helpful - Amanda may wish to chime in here with some concrete info as a local parent who has school-age kids (who do really well in school).
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 07:58 PM

Schools in Belize must be accredited by the Ministry of Education.

There are standardised tests.

Children must attend school until the age of 14 years.

However the reality is that there are not enough spaces in the schools to accommodate all of the kids that should be enrolled. Money is a factor in parents deciding whether or not to send their kids to school. Uniforms, books, even desks are provided by their parents. So if the parents don't have the wherewithal, or if the kids are "illegals" they may not receive a formal education.

The Government and the churches have schools that are accredited by the GOB and subsidised by the GOB, but they are church run and funded (via tuition and other sources of income.)



Posted By: CaptOneIron

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 08:31 PM

Thank you Diane and Amanda. I am beginning to get the picture (I think). I gather that there is probably some competition amongst and between the schools as well though I don't know on what basis they compete. I gather though that the competition if any is not primarily about religious affiliation? Is that right? Anyway, thanks again for enlightening me regarding the situation here.
Posted By: Cayemen

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 09:46 PM

Because all schools have the same curriculum and doing the same PSE at the end, the competition is only in school fees and religious affiliation (Adventist, Catholics etc.) The Religion is complete over weighted and there is no separation between religion and education.

In general the education Level in Belize is very low.
Standard six is a repetition from standard five, to prepare the children for the PSE. First Form High school, is more ore less a repetition of standard five and six, to reach the same level of education at the end of the first year in high school.

Sad but true, a standard five student can solve without hassle all the mathematics from the First Form High school math book.

If a child later like to study in the States or Europe, it needs at least 6 months to catch up with the higher standards.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 09:54 PM

Cayemen can you tell me how many children you have in Belizean Schools or where is your information from?
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/09/10 11:58 PM

Hmmmmm we've spoken to folks whose kids went to school here, left to go elsewhere and found they were ahead of the kids their same age in the USA. Might be a function of age of child, particular school, or parents ..... but truly we did get some good reviews.

Posted By: James Pearce

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 01:30 AM

Correct link for The Island Academy: http://www.theislandacademy.com/
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 02:20 AM

2 of my kids were educated on the island and then went to Europe for schooling. They excelled and their Belizean education was definitely on par with the base education received in the UK. What schools in Belize lack is the ability to offer as many choices in courses. For example, in the UK kids can take carpentry, metal works, sewing, cooking, many music options and multiple language choices. Also there are many different sporting options and facilities available to them. In addition there are great after school programs including the arts, drama, scouts and guides, etc. etc.

It did take my daughter about 6 months to catch up in French in the 3rd year of highschool - after all she had never taken French in her life.

A Roman Catholic school should put an emphasis on its religious beliefs. The Anglican school has its focus and so does the Adventist school. Religion is a huge part of most people's lives and I feel they should be allowed to express their beliefs and preach their religion in school. There are choices of schools so that folks don't have to attend a school that has religious teachings that go against their own beliefs.

I have known many kids that grew up on the island that have gone on to get tremendous grades and educations and degrees from the Americas and Europe.

Like it or not a lot of the responsibility of education also falls squarely on the shoulders of the parents/guardians. Home work is as important as class work. Families that put education high on their score board of necessary achievements tend to see positive school grades from the children.




Originally Posted by Cayemen
Because all schools have the same curriculum and doing the same PSE at the end, the competition is only in school fees and religious affiliation (Adventist, Catholics etc.) The Religion is complete over weighted and there is no separation between religion and education.

In general the education Level in Belize is very low.
Standard six is a repetition from standard five, to prepare the children for the PSE. First Form High school, is more ore less a repetition of standard five and six, to reach the same level of education at the end of the first year in high school.

Sad but true, a standard five student can solve without hassle all the mathematics from the First Form High school math book.

If a child later like to study in the States or Europe, it needs at least 6 months to catch up with the higher standards.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 02:22 AM

Wow the stats on most of the links are a little outdated. When I get back to the island I will see if I can get more accurate figures.

Most certainly if you take a ride around all of the suburbs of San Pedro town you will be able to count a few hundred kids that should be in school that are not attending....
Posted By: Cayemen

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 02:53 AM

I have one child in high school and its my own experience.

Take the actual San Pedro High Math Book for the first form,
any clever standard 5 student can solve all the exercises.

The 4 fist form high school classes are mixed with students have passes the PSE and students the failed the PSE.

The should be 4 classes
1 class for slow learners
2 classes for average learners
1 class for gifted students.

Today, the slow leaner have trouble to follow and the gifted students get bored. If a faster or brighter student is finish with his work, hi has to sit on his desk and wait till the LAST Student is finished. Its not allowed to do homework or anything else, just have to sit maybe for a half our and maybe you loose the interest for the school because its boring.

The standard in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland is far higher, as the standard in Belize.

The whole standard six is only repetition for the PSE.
In the European country's, the study is more linear and the repetition is only a minor part. In Belize you wasting a hell of time with repetition.
Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 10:17 AM

I am surprised that you didn't choose the home schooling option.

Perhaps you might consider sending your child to high school in the city. Saint Johns follows the type of system you refer to with classes defined by ability. Also you can consider having your child take another subject that is studied on his own. My eldest did that so she ended up with an extra CXC at the end of high school.

The Belizean school system is mainly moulded from the British system.

The system isn't ideal, but it is what we have to work with.

There is a PTA at the high school that would most likely enjoy receiving your constructive criticism.

Originally Posted by Cayemen
I have one child in high school and its my own experience.

Take the actual San Pedro High Math Book for the first form,
any clever standard 5 student can solve all the exercises.

The 4 fist form high school classes are mixed with students have passes the PSE and students the failed the PSE.

The should be 4 classes
1 class for slow learners
2 classes for average learners
1 class for gifted students.

Today, the slow leaner have trouble to follow and the gifted students get bored. If a faster or brighter student is finish with his work, hi has to sit on his desk and wait till the LAST Student is finished. Its not allowed to do homework or anything else, just have to sit maybe for a half our and maybe you loose the interest for the school because its boring.

The standard in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland is far higher, as the standard in Belize.

The whole standard six is only repetition for the PSE.
In the European country's, the study is more linear and the repetition is only a minor part. In Belize you wasting a hell of time with repetition.
Posted By: Inplub

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 10:19 AM

3 of my kids were educated on the island and then went to Europe for schooling. Inrek is 16 has just finished GCSE 1 A*, 2 A, 3 B and 3 C, not bad for 4 years in Belizean Schools and I am not talking about The Island Academy.

Angela (14) has been the top of her year in high school for the last 2 years. There are over 200 in her year, Philip is 10 and we have had only one problem with him, he wants to come back to San Pedro.
Posted By: Dane

Re: Schools on Ambergris Caye - 10/10/10 07:55 PM

I run a High School and cayemans comments are not the case at our school, either.Some of the kids can for sure do higher level work and some can't, just like in Europe and the States.
I agree with Amanda, your kids should seek an education elsewhere.
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