Posted: Monday, March 13, 2023. 11:42 am CST.
By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: At Friday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, Prime Minister John Briceño announced that featured in the Government of Belize’s Medium Term Development Strategy and with the overarching goals of Plan Belize, an additional $4 million is being allocated to expand the Free Education Program to schools in the Southside of Belize City and in the Toledo District.
On the launch of the project in 2022, Minister of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology, Francis Fonseca said that it is a comprehensive approach to education.
“The Belize Education Upliftment Project will be the launch of our government’s free education policy. It’s not only about paying tuition, it’s a comprehensive approach to education and improving the quality of life for these young students. It will address uniforms, books, devices and ensure proper transportation to school,” Fonseca said.
At that time, the pilot project commenced for Gwen Liz, Sadie Vernon, Maud Williams, and Excelsior high schools – all in Belize City’s south side with at risk neighborhoods and communities.
The expansion of the program will benefit 1000 students in south side Belize City and 1600 students in Stann Creek and Toledo districts.
In addition, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology will provide $200 subsidies for 11,820 students for a total cost of $2,364,000.
“Those funds will cover tuition, school feeding program for one meal daily, uniforms, and books and shoes as needed. In addition, we are providing $200 subsidies for 11,820 students for a total cost of $2,364,000.
The total population in high school is about 22,000.
So close to two thirds of high school population will be receiving some kind of financial assistance automatically,” Fonseca stated.
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