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La Educación
Número: (123-125) I,III
Año: 1996


For too long the educational system has been allowed to take on a life of its own with those who should direct it merely reacting to crises as they arise, or responding to initiatives from individual agencies outside the system. The whole thrust of the Belizean Government is towards Belizean taking control of their lives and their future. It is against this background that we take up the challenge to ‘launch a new era in education,’ prepared and determined to take whatever action is necessary to ensure that Belizeans are prepared to face the challenges of the twenty-first century.

This was the introductory paragraph in the Ministry of Education Policy for “Improving Access, Efficiency and Quality of Education,” a draft policy in its final stages of development that has invited inputs from many private and public organizations as well as from the community. These are statements of a government that appears committed to the challenges of improving education. However, the question can be asked, is the government really committed or is this merely rhetoric? What factors have influenced policy decisions and attempts at reform? This article will examine four sectors of Belize’s education system to identify past policies and practices, attempts at reform, and the successes and failures of these. It will also examine current reform proposals or agendas and the status of these at the implementation level. A brief history of the political system and an overview of the development of the system of education in Belize will help to put the paper into perspective.