When I arrived I began inquiring about Ms Candi’s and Ms Darcel’s credentials and academic state of affairs. Ms Candi has been attending all the workshops presented by the Ministry of Education for years, believing that the workshops would lead to a permanent teaching certificate. I decided to do a formal check on that assumption and it was incorrect. The credits earned from the Ministry Workshops will keep a permanent teaching certificate up-to-date but they will not earn the certificate.
Ms Candi needed to go to college and get a Bachelors Degree in Primary Education.
By way of background, both Ms Candi and Ms Darcel have Associates Degrees in Business. (Ms Candi started at Friends school, way back when, as a secretary and worked her way into a teaching position.)
So Candi and Darcel made a little pact with each other to get their Bachelors degrees. We investigated various possibilities, looked at costs and considered what was available to people who are already working. Galen University, headquartered in St.Louis, Missouri, has a school here in Belize and a program that satisfies our requirements. Classes can be attended from home via a computer but tests must be taken in person. Even though the main campus in is Belmopan there is a site here in the city where students can attend class and take the tests.
They took the steps to apply to the program for a Bachelors Degree in Primary Education. I stuck my neck out and paid for the application fee from the Friends School account. Ms Candi and Ms Darcel assure me that they will be able to pay for the rest of the expenses.
It will be three years of teaching in the daytime and, in the evening, caring for their own children and going to class. Each class is taught as an intensive which lasts 5-6 weeks. (Classes continue in the summer with a heavier load.)
No one here is naive. We know this is going to be tough. But it’s do-able and will be a great benefit to the teachers and to the school.