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Curriculum Reform Aims to Focus on Honing Students’ Competencies

Also coming out of Tuesday’s Cabinet session, ministers also supported the Ministry of Education’s proposal for a multi-layered approach to the Belize Education Upliftment Project: Together We Rise, which will focus on providing specific targeted interventions to four schools in the Southside Belize City. In addition, Cabinet was informed of the Belize National Curriculum Framework 2022, which has been developed after months of consultation and focused effort. CEO of the Ministry, Dian Meheai, says the highest priority of the new Framework is to build competency in students from pre-primary through to secondary levels. 

Dian Maheia, CEO, Ministry of Education: “What we have tried to do is sort of cut out some of the things that have been repeated. It’s not about eliminating things that were necessary. It’s more about honing in on those critical things that really are necessary. So I think in a nutshell ‘focus’ is the key word here. Focussing on what we want to teach. What do we want students to know? To learn? How do we want them to learn it? I think it’s so interesting that after so many years of a very heavy academic focus in this country where we saw schools, their curriculum, their subject offerings just kept ballooning. You know, what we’re looking at now is the fact that subjects like Music, and Art, and P.E. that were considered almost like excess and were given less time and attention, we now see as really being critical for holistic development for our students.”

Maheia also stated that the new curriculum will cater to the need of differently-abled students. 

Dian Maheia, CEO, Ministry of Education: “We have a team within the ministry that is looking specifically at the national, the new National Curriculum framework and they actually also have a framework of life skills for students with special education. One of the beauties of competency based education is that the focus is on skills based. It’s not a completely academic based focus so the goal is to make sure that people acquire skills and if you are unable to acquire a skill within a certain time frame what it means that you can be supported in order to achieve that skill. So what we’re doing with this new framework and this focus on competency based education is actually allowing people to focus more on those students who have special education learning needs. Because we’re saying it’s okay. We can adjust. If you don’t learn this way, we can adjust the way that we’re teaching so that you can learn because what is absolutely the most important thing is that you learn.”