Do all children go to school?

Posted By: Moon

Do all children go to school? - 12/26/05 12:19 AM

We just got back a week ago from San Pedro and while we saw some children in school uniforms practicing for the Christmas pageant, there were other younger children selling jewellery on the beach, aged about 7-10 years old, and I was wondering whether there was "free" education available to all, or whether schooling had to be paid for.

From reading a couple of other threads here, people have been discussing a private school, but I just wondered if every child is guaranteed an education, in San Pedro and also on the mainland. It didn't occur to me originally that these young kids should have been in school, I thought they must be out on Christmas holiday from school.... maybe they were, just had different school holidays from the other kids I saw in uniforms.
Posted By: dabunk

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/26/05 01:19 AM

It varies as to the area. Not all areas have public schools, many only have church run schools and they have to pay. Many do not attend school. I cannot say about San Pedro as I do not live there, but in the rest of Belize most have to pay to go to school. It is a big strain on a Belizean family budget.
Posted By: scubawalk

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/26/05 02:21 PM

My understanding is there are over 100 children in San Pedro that do not attend school. The Rendezvous Jazz Festival and the Calendar Girls are both raising funds to add classroom space and to provide scholarships to allow these children to get an education. There are some public schools in Belize, but most are built by churches, the teachers are paid by the government and the children pay some amount as tuition and have to pay for supplies. I don't have children in the system, but that is the way I have been told by other parents that it works.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/26/05 02:39 PM

scubawalk is correct. The family must pay a tuition, purchase uniforms, buy supplies etc, etc. This is a very costly effort for some families in San Pedro. The San Pedro Social Club has under advisement a plan to donate a substantial amount of funds to assist in the construction of additional classrooms in conjuction with the Calendar Girls project. We also have under advisement a plan to assist thoes families that need help in paying tuitions and assisting in a meal plan for a select few that really need it, as well as purchasing text books for the school. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please go to our website and hit the PayPal button.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 03:22 AM

Posted By: deacon+

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 04:49 AM

What is the cost per???
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 02:57 PM

Any amount accepted. Please use the PayPal function at
Posted By: Sir Isaac Newton

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 04:05 PM

It is against the law not to send your children to school. All children go to school in Belize through (US eight) standard six.

Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 04:38 PM

Supposed to go to school until you're 14 years old.

San Pedro Primary School (Catholic/Government subsidised) is around $85 Bze per year - plus books, plus uniforms plus your own desk, plus occassional donations for fundraising events.

All in all probably costs around $500 US per student per year.

San Pedro High School costs more, I would estimate about $1,000 US per student per year because there are science and computer lab fees.

The private schools are 2 - 3 times as much.
Posted By: SimonB

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 06:04 PM

For those who live in the community and wish to donate who do they see? Paypal will not accept payment from Belize IP addresses.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 06:10 PM

Thanks Simon, I wasn't aware of that. Folks on the island can contact Susie Quist (can be found at Coconet internet) or Dee Thomas (can track her down at BCs) or Charlene at BCs. Just tell them what it's for. Thanks!

Posted By: scubawalk

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 07:27 PM


Yes the children are suppose to go to school, but when there is no space - they are not in class. In September there were 100 kids unable to go to school and now that other families have moved here for the high season there are more. Some of these families want their children in school - but have been turned down due to the lack of space. That is why the Calendar Girls and the Social Club have changed their focus to providing classrooms.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 08:15 PM

I just received an email stating that my info regarding who to give the donations to on the island was too broad. They also stated they would not give these people any money. To clarify please see the following;

Susie Quist is a charter member of the San Pedro Social Club and is one of our Island representatives residing in SP.

Dee Thomas is also a charter member, a long time SP resident as well as a Director of the SPSC.

Charlene Johnson is a major sponsor/member of the SPSC and owns BCs Beach Bar & BBQ.

Their reputation is above reproch. Anyone can feel secure that any funds they receive on behalf of the SPSC will find it's way home. If you prefer to mail your donation, please send it to the following;

San Pedro Social Club, Inc.
310 Crossbow Dr
Spring, Tx 77386


Thanks for your input.

Posted By: Amanda Syme

Re: Do all children go to school? - 12/28/05 08:48 PM

There are other charitable organizations on the island if you are here and want to make a donation - obviously you can go directly to the school principal or to the Catholic Church with Father Jim.

The San Pedro Social Committee is making a concerted effort to gather enough funds in one place in order to make a large difference. With the help of the Calendar Girls sales the hopes are to build a number of classrooms at the Primary School site, and also be able to pay for the teachers so that the 100 or so kids that are not getting ANY formal education at all can start attending school.
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