UDP Leader Patrick Faber is the longest-serving Minister of Education in Belize’s post-Independence history. Having been at the helm for almost thirteen years, we asked his views on a number of issues in the system, including standardized tests. This comes after one of Faber’s predecessors, now Deputy Prime Minister Cordel Hyde said that it is perhaps time to revisit that issue. Faber said that the pandemic, which stopped the exams for two cycles now, has taught Belize the need for us to incorporate technology.
Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader, Former Minister of Education: “I’m not going to knock anything that is being tried at this time and I’ll tell you why. While I have my own concerns about the education system and where COVID has taken us I think the Ministry of Education has dropped the ball in terms of keeping our students in tune and on target over the last couple of months but that’s an aside. I think this is an opportune time, having led the ministry for so long I can tell you that change is often very difficult to make. We all recognize what needs to be done but it is very very difficult to have all the stakeholders participate in making that change. COVID19 prevents an environment where this is now ripe for doing, that change is now ripe for making. Our children did not take PSE this year I don’t think they took it last year either or maybe they took one part if I remember correctly in 2020.”
Reporter: I don’t think we took anything.
Patrick Faber, UDP Party Leader, Former Minister of Education: “We didn’t take anything okay. But so that now puts us in a position to say you know what all those who were advocating to keep the exam listen the exam has happened for two years so it is now an environment for change and all those who were looking at it as something outdated and you know the other aspect is that our people might now be more appreciative of the need to use new innovative ways especially technology to get our children’s education on track.”