The Ministry of Education has been offering school subsidies to students for the past nine years to assist them with fees for high school. At the inception of the programmme, students from the Toledo and Stann Creek Districts got the subsidies automatically while students in other districts had to be assessed. Today, the Ministry of Education held a ceremony where it distributed the subsidies to students in the Belize District. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, Patrick Faber, was the keynote speaker at today’s ceremony.
Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister: “So along with the Ministry of Human Development of which Minister Boots is the head honcho we started administering a means survey test and that is what has been used up to today in certain areas to determine whether students are to be recipients of the government’s $300 subsidy program. But when my management team lead by our CEO looked at the figures we realized that we could be doing much more with the subsidy and so they said to me ‘why don’t we try to spread the love of the tax paying dollars even more to ensure that more of you go on to highschool especially because we know that the number on stumbling block in your way in terms of getting to high school is paying for high school. And so we decided that we are going to look firstly at the Corozal district which by that time had become the second poorest district in the country. So today we are pleased to announce that on Thursday or Wednesday when we go to Corozal the entire Corozal district will join with Stann Creek district and they will receive the subsidy ticket, all the students from all over the district they will get it automatically.”
Faber went on to speak about the schools’ performance.
Patrick Faber, Minister of Education: Last year when the school year started in September we looked at the performance of some of our schools in Belize City and we realized that there were quite a number of schools that continued to not meet the mark and I said to my team of senior managers ‘let us call the managements of these schools together.’ ‘let us hear from them how they believe we can be more helpful in order to support them in the work they do and to support our children to do better.’ and as a result of that we had few meetings with the administrators of these schools, in fact we picked some of the schools and we visited them, we visited with the children and we visited with the teachers and we visited with the parents an we promised that we were going to put in place measures that will help to make sure that the children in these schools success and as a result that today we are giving subsidy tickets automatically to the 13 of our schools, five on the north side and eight on the south side of Belize City ,every child in these 13 schools that are in standard six will receive the subsidy tickets. Isn’t that great news?”
Similar ceremonies will take place at Sacred Heart College Auditorium
tomorrow; Rudolph Wade (CCC) Auditorium and Muffles College Auditorium on Wednesday; the University of Belize Gymnasium in Belmopan on Thursday; Independence High School Auditorium and Julian Cho Technical High School Auditorium on Friday.