A year after the Ministry of Education piloted Belizean Studies in eleven schools, the Ministry is now ready to roll-out the subject in all the high schools. In this regard, a Belizean Studies Seminar is being held today to update educators on the knowledge gained from the pilot project as well as to prepare them for the full roll-out of the subject. Love news spoke with John Newport, the Director of Quality Assurance Development Services, QUADS, who said that other studies will be integrated into Belizean Studies.
John Newport – Director of QUADS: “Belizean studies is not Belizean History, it is not geography, it is not politics or economics. It is, in fact a combination of all of those social studies and some science disciplines so, for example, the first form pilot that we just completed, probably a third of the time would be what you would traditionally think of as history, some of it was environmental studies, some of it was development, some of it was more human-based by looking at identity, particularly what it means to be a Belizean and the culture and so on. It is an integrated approach to try and understand who we are and the place that we live in. One of the things that we learned was that you have to be careful not to not be too ambitious. When you say Belizean Studies and how we are going to study our country certainly you are talking about a huge topic. The more that we look at what it means to study Belize the more we realize there is a lot to study so we had to kind of focus on what the teachers and students considered to be the most important central topics. Then looking at spreading the content over the whole four years of high school so at the end of it they won’t know everything about Belize but they will know a lot.
Newport explained that the Ministry of Education will develop the curriculum, provide training for teachers and there is a website with the material that is accessible to both teachers and students. Newport added that local and international writers will be providing the textbooks.