There are adults in the city who, for various reasons, have never received an elementary school certificate. During this year, three of them approached Ms Candi at different times asking if there was anything we could offer them.
I was privy to one of those conversations where Ms Candi asked the lady if she would be ok with attending class with our students. She said that she would and she tried it but it wasn’t really a good idea.
While the FUM visitation team was here we received an invitation to attend a roundtable discussion. I was busy with the team but Ms Candi attended. The roundtable was sponsored by the Government of Belize (Ministry of Education), the University of West Indies, and other parties. During that day the ministry was complimentary of our success rate with our students.
The upshot of the day is that we were asked if we would pilot a program for adults that leads to an elementary school certificate. There are two advantages to the adult who gets the certificate. One, almost all the businesses in Belize City now require an elementary school certificate as a condition of employment and, two, an adult with the certificate could then apply to University of West Indies to work on an equivalent to our GED or apply to ITVET in a vocational program.
We are researching and discussing all the details before actually offering the program. How many hours a week? What time of day? What would the annual schedule look like? Who would teach it? How will the finances work out? What fees would we charge? How do we determine when the student has earned his/her certificate? And on and on, as you might imagine.
At the roundtable, the Government of Belize said that there was no money available for a pilot program but suggested that there may be support available if the pilot is successful. To be perfectly honest, I do not trust that ‘suggesting’ but we will follow up on it. At any rate we will be proposing to the School Board and to FUM that we offer a 2 hour a night, 4 day a week, evening class for a maximum of 15 adults.