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House debates EQIP II loan motion

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Posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2019. 11:49 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: A second Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP II) will be funded to the tune of US$10 million (BZ$20 million) from the Inter-American Development Bank.

According to Minister of Education, Youth, Culture and Sports Patrick, the new program focuses on training teachers at primary and secondary level by promoting an inquiry and problem based learning approach and emphasizing the teaching of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics).

The primary components of the project are the rolling out of the IAP approach to that 50 percent of primary schools that have not yet benefited and the building of a STEAM Learning Secondary School at a laboratory based in Belize City.

The Opposition signaled support (Leader of the Opposition John Briceño said he would rather support this kind of motion than one such as the road to Caracol). But former Minister and Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Said Musa and representatives Orlando Habet and Oscar Requeña wanted assurances that we will see improvement in the standardized tests taken by students in Standard Three (Belize Junior Achievement Test) and Standard Six (Primary School Examination).

In wrapping up the debate, Prime Minister Dean Barrow stated that an effort such as this was cause for celebration, while once again defending the government’s vaunted infrastructure program, citing other world leaders’ plans to beef up infrastructure in their countries to speed up development (Mexico, India and the United States, with unkind reference to Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico).

The bill is in committee and is expected to pass through all its stages today.

 

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