Belize’s minister of education to visit BC

Published 8:22 am Friday, January 13, 2012


BC Communications Specialist

Patrick Faber, the Belize Minister of Education who is working to improve the access of education and to reform the quality of teaching and teacher preparation in the Central American country, will visit with Bainbridge College administrators on Monday, Jan. 16.

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Faber is working with his country’s junior colleges, universities and the Consortium for Belize Educational Cooperation to develop a fast-track certificate program in which under-qualified teachers could attend research and pedagogy classes during breaks in their schedules.

“A wide range of projects has laid the foundation for a strong relationship between BC and the education sector in Belize,” said BC President Richard Carvajal. “Mr. Faber’s visit to our campus Monday builds on that foundation.”

Bainbridge College and Belize have had a special relationship prior to last April’s signing of a memorandum of understanding between BC and the Corozal Junior College in Corozal, Belize. That memorandum of understanding expanded the two institutions’ cooperative relationship, including the exchange of academic and professional staff and students. The two institutions’ objective is to improve their respective educational programs through a systematic exchange of academic and professional staff and students. For example, over the past several years, BC students have studied English, education and science in Belize, including working with children and teachers in Belizean elementary schools.

In August, while Carvajal was attending the installation of the new president of the University of Belize, Carvajal had discussed collaboration between BC and Faber and had invited the minister to visit Bainbridge.

Faber will arrive in Bainbridge following a visit to his alma mater, Valdosta State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics. Faber earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of North Florida’s College of Education and Human Services. He has been a secondary school teacher, and he served in the Belizean House of Representatives, as one of the youngest members of the Parliament and Cabinet. Today he is one of the most prominent members of the current government.

In 2008, Faber became Belize’s Minister of Education, which is the largest ministry in Belize, where 50 percent of the population is under the age of 15 and 75 percent is under the age of 35. He cited figures that many of the teachers in Belize lack minimum teaching qualifications — 35 percent of the primary school teachers hold an associate’s degree, 45 percent of secondary teachers have a bachelor’s and only 30 percent of higher educators have master’s or doctoral degrees. Furthermore, approximately 50 percent of students dropped out after primary school to work on a family farm.