Free secondary education to Government High Schools Print
( 1 Vote )
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 10 May 2019 00:00

The Minister of Education, Hon. Patrick Faber, has told The Guardian that the Ministry of Education is currently working on having free education made available to students in Government high schools. Speaking to the Minister on Friday, May 3, he explained that the Ministry is at this time looking to “offer free, completely free without fee or tuition, access to our Government high schools across the country. I am certain that we will be able to do it in most of the areas,” stated the Minister. He added that the specific schools will be announced shortly if it cannot be done in all Government schools. At this point in time, DPM Faber said, “we are crunching the numbers, now hoping that we will be able to do it to all Government schools.”

The boon is definitely something that students can look forward to but already the Ministry is investing heavily on students making their transition from primary to secondary schools. Last year, the Ministry implemented the automatic subsidy for the entire Corozal and Orange Walk Districts. Additionally the program was extended to students in rural primary schools in the Belize and Cayo districts. These join those of the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts that receive 300 dollars to be applied to their high school expenses in the first and second yearS of study. Mechanisms are also put in place where deserving students from the urban areas in Cayo, Belize and San Pedro can also apply to receive the subsidy.

DPM Faber says that the ministry is investing over three million dollars a year in this program and the goal is to reduce the financial burden off students attending high schools. The Minister stated that as a result of the initiative there is now a 60% transition rate of students moving from primary to secondary schools. But while there is an increase in getting students in first and second forms, the challenge remains to be able to keep them enrolled because the subsidy only currently serves first and second forms.

As for the new initiative of free education to government high schools, DPM Faber said that the initiative will reduce the burden of school managements having to jostle with students to have them pay their fees. He added that the Ministry is also looking at the possibility of reducing the cost for students to attend denominational highs schools as well.

While the initiatives of the Ministry of Education may be paying great dividends, DPM Faber says that the additional access to students means that the Ministry has had to put in significant more investment for new classrooms and put in more bus runs for students.