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St. John’s Junior College Gears Up to offer Undergraduate and Graduate Programs

St. John’s Junior College – it is one of the largest and longest operating Catholic institutions in Belize. Its doors have been opened since 1957 and is now preparing to mark another milestone in the annals of history. Come January 2022, SJCJC will begin offering undergraduate and graduate programs. The school’s President, Mirtha Peralta told Love News that this achievement has been in the making since 1981.

Mirtha Peralta, President, St. John’s College: “This has been a forty year struggle. From 1981 the Jesuits started, father Leo Webber and Father Richard Beuler with the initiative of going four year but after forty years we have finally secured those permissions and so first of January 2022 St.John’s College becomes a four year institution able to grant Bachelor’s Degree programs and Master’s Degree programs. So I want to say to your alumni out there, to students out there we are ready. This has been a question that has always been asked to us and so please stop by we are ready to go. The programs of course we’re going to make further announcements later on. We are in collaboration with our 28 Jesuit Institutions in the Association of Jesuit Colleges .”

It was during a ceremony at the school’s compound on Princess Margaret Drive that the announcement was made. Delivering the keynote address at was Minister of Education, Culture, Science and Technology, Francis Fonseca. Fonseca says the ministry saw it fit to go this direction because it will help Belize reach significant goals in sustainable development, health and technology.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “We don’t want this to be competing with our national University of Belize and of course there’s a lot of work to be done at the national University of Belize, there are a lot of weaknesses there but the emphasis of this institution, this new four year institution, will be on sustainable development courses, environment, health sciences, also engineering programs, you know that area of focus to start with technology of course how could I forget technology – technology will be central to their programs again benefitting from the networking that exists in these other institutions to provide the St.John’s College Four Year Program with the support and capacity and resources they need to help us to develop our nation.”

Additionally, Fonseca spoke on how this upgrade at SJCJC will open Belize up for opportunities and collaborations with international partners and institutions.

Francis Fonseca, Minister of Education: “It fits perfectly in with our Plan Belize Agenda outlined in our education nation plan so you know I was very very excited when the president and the Jesuits approached me some six months ago with this idea and I asked them to develop the proposal and they put that together, we reviewed it, it fits perfectly in with our own objectives of expanding higher education, expanding quality higher education and expanding that network of opportunities. You know we have so many excellent students in Belize who never get an opportunity to get a good quality education and so this provides additional opportunities for that, additional scholarship opportunities at these elite institutions as well. So it’s an absolute win win for our education system, for SJC and for the people of Belize.”