Posted: Friday, February 23, 2018. 8:38 a.m. CST.
By BBN Staff: Today, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) presented it’s findings for a one-year study on the various issues keeping children out of school.
UNICEF held the presentation at the Belize Police Department at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza bringing together stakeholders such as the Ministries of Education and Human Development, along with partners such as the Belize Police Department.
The survey involved interviews with over 40 schools country wide, along with community members, teachers, Parent Teacher Association Members, and principals, regarding the attendance of children ages 4-16 at the primary and high school level.
The survey showed that 20 percent of 4-year olds are not in school. The figure drastically decreases for the ages 5-10 category, which stood at 3.82 percent.
UNICEF noted that the pre-school age in Belize is ages 3-4, but attendance is not mandatory; however parents are legally required to have children ages 5-14 in an educational institution.
The data also showed that 43.83 percent of children attending lower secondary school are overage for the grade they were in. Some 56.3 percent of the lower secondary students were at moderate risk for dropping out, while 43.7 percent of them were at risk for dropping out.
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