Belize has made great strides in increasing access to primary and secondary education, and in subsidizing the cost of same to families. Many millions have been spent on increasing options for vocational training for those who are not inclined to traditional academic courses. However, there is growing perception that not sufficient is being done to improve the quality of education. While efforts have been made to increase access and performance for the lower quartile of students, not much is being done to encourage and facilitate the upper quartile to higher heights.
Competitiveness is at the heart of improving innovation, creativity and quality. It is easier to “pull up” than to “push up”. It is with this in mind, that the society aims to identify those students in the upper quartile, and to take steps to cultivate, motivate and otherwise develop them, so that they can provide the “pulling up” effects for the entire education system, by promoting higher performance and performers in education.
The society will be formed from volunteers who are interested in planning, organizing and executing the strategies agreed to by the society. To get the society off the ground, a small group will organize a weekend event during the summer…sponsored by private contributors….to which will be invited the top 20 performers, in terms of cumulative GPA, from the high school AND sixth form systems countrywide….along with their parents. Thus, the amount invited to this initial event will be 120…..this group can and will be expanded once we better understand the demand, and capacity and capability of the society. This all-day event will take place in a resort setting with appropriate meeting and social facilities…complete with meals, transportation for those who need it, meeting materials and light supper-time entertainment. The initial purpose of this event will be to allow these high performers and their parents to socialize and share experiences and ambitions….and to be motivated to become active members of the society….contributing to its continuous growth and development. The society will keep data on general education performance and the high performers in the upper quartile….document and promote effective study and learning habits….agitate for, and facilitate where possible, improvement in learning resources and laboratories….promote more cooperation, collaboration and cohesion among Belizean high performers…recognize and promote parents involvement in their children’s education…build a stage for high performers to be recognized and valued in our society….link our high performance society with those in other countries…and seek out rewards for them.
There is need at this stage for help from a small number of persons who can identify with and be committed to the concept stated here, with minimum of bachelor’s degrees, to help to come up with a draft charter for the society, to become the founding members, and to assist with the planning and execution of the 2014 event. Please call Richard Harrison at 620 3535, or email him at [email protected] if you are such a person or representative from a private organization that would like to help.
This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.
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