Education and Educational Planning in Belize

  • Education and Educational Planning in Belize

by Josephine Wilson



The purpose of this study was to provide a description of educational planning and the planning process in Belize; a developing nation of Central America, formerly known as British Honduras.

Five questions guided the study and these were directed at the historical, social and economic context of Belize, and at the cultural and linguistic divisions which influence educational planning in the country.

The procedures use in the study consisted of an examination of relevant documents, and an analysis of the results of interviews.

The study indicated that the citizens of Belize are demanding a widening of the goals of education as they recognize its importance for development. However, it was found that problems such as regional disparities of educational opportunity, language diversity as well as financial limitations, prevent the full realization of these objectives.

Educational planning in Belize was shown to be government dominated with little if any input from the citizens. The cabinet exercises a tight control over the whole process, such that plans drawn up by the Ministry Development Committee must be approved by the Cabinet Development Committee, after which they become part of the overall government plan.

It was found that the dual control of education by Church and State created tensions between the two parties. At present control of secondary education rests almost entirely with the various denominations for whom it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep pace with the expanding system.

Based on the findings of the study, twelve areas of concern were considered. These included the dual system of education; disparities existing between city and rural schools, English as a Second Language; the Common Entrance Examination; the involvement of citizens in educational planning; the need for agricultural expansion and the problems of school leavers.

Seven recommendations for further study were also presented, some dealing with areas recommended above for practice. In addition were the following: the effects of the expansion of education on development; the achievement patterns of bilingual children; British and Belizean education in the nineteenth century; and non-formal education in developing countries.


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Keywords: education planning, development, policy, government


Suggested APA reference: Wilson, J. (1980). Education and educational planning in Belize. Manitoba: University of Manitoba.

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