Yesterday, the Prime Minister, Dean Barrow, and Country Representatives of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Dr Cassandra T. Rogers, signed an agreement for a US$10 million loan. This loan goes directly towards improving the quality and gender equity of Education at the primary and secondary school levels. This agreement launches the second phase of the Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP II) which focuses especially on innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) subjects. As a part of this program, a STEAM Lab School will be built in Belize City. This will be a secondary school that will encourage innovation and experimentation in students. It is expected to hold 300 students once operational. Today, Chief Education Officer, Dr Carol Babb, stated that this program is created to include all students.
Dr.Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: “I know that we want to offer- all I can say equal opportunities for everybody, we will not discriminate. But remember these are grant aided schools so they’re getting public funds so they cannot discriminate and should not turn away and child.”
Reporter: Regardless of your Christian interpretation the child has constitutional rights.
Dr.Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: “Right the child has constitutional rights and if they want to discriminate then they should form their own private school but once you are getting public funds you should not discriminate and when these matters come to our attention we bring it to the attention of the managing authorities.”
At the primary level, the program will help the 50% of schools that did not benefit from the first phase of EQIP. It will also include training in hands-on student-centered learning for 320 principals, 1,500 teachers, and some 12,000 students.