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Can Belize stop the exodus of its best and brightest?

Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2024. 4:04 pm CST.

By Horace Palacio: Belize, like many Caribbean nations, is grappling with “brain drain,” the departure of skilled professionals seeking better opportunities abroad. Minister of Education Francis Fonseca acknowledged the challenge, citing the inability to match the salaries offered by developed nations as a key driver.

“We simply cannot compete with the attractive packages that developed countries offer teachers, nurses, and other professionals,” Fonseca stated.

The minister emphasized that while Belize fares better than some Caribbean neighbors like Jamaica, which recently lost 800 teachers, the loss of skilled workers remains a concern. The consequences are particularly felt in the education and healthcare sectors.

Fonseca noted ongoing discussions with the United States on the issue but recognized the complexities involved. Brain drain, or human capital flight, benefits developed countries receiving the influx of skilled labor – a phenomenon known as “brain gain.”

 

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