Belize Launches Think Equal Program: New Initiative Focuses on Children’s Mental Health
For the first time ever, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology is rolling out a program catering to the mental health of school children ages five to seven years old. Today the Ministry in collaboration with UNICEF and the global education charity Think Equal, hosted the official launch of the Think Equal Program in Belize. The program will see teachers trained in Think Equal’s methodology to cater to the development of emotional intelligence in children. Teachers will be provided with lesson plans and other resources to allow for greater integration of emotional intelligence material in everyday school lessons. Minister of Education Francis Fonseca spoke at the launch, explaining that the program rolls out in phases with around a hundred teachers trained within the first phase. Fonseca says that the Think Equal Program harmonizes with the revised curriculum being rolled out in schools and that the program will be alongside the new curriculum rollout at the start of the upcoming school year in September.
Allison Parker, Belize Representative for UNICEF, said that the program focuses on fostering values in children such as respect for human life and gender equality, which will better equip them for social interaction as they grow older. Parker went on to say that instilling those values at an early age, will also help to alleviate a number of social issues such as interpersonal violence and gender-based violence.
Think Equal has rolled out programs in twenty-two countries, reaching over two hundred fifty thousand children.