REPORT #299 June 2000

Produced by the Belize Development Trust

Pioneer days in education indeed! Glory be and hallejuah! Belize is going to have it's own small University. From the announcements, it looks like it will be comprised of different functionary units in the port town of Belize City, one in Belmopan and one in Central Farm. Only six or seven weeks more, before it is reality.

Joining together are the Belize College of Agriculture, the Belize School of Nursing, the Belize Teachers Training College, the Belize Technical College, and the more academic University College of Belize. The Agriculture and Natural Resouces college will remain at Central Farm.

Creating a University in Belize is sort of hard. The population is scattered over hundreds of miles. The populations poor and students few where the University would be needed. Nor is there any money. The existing outfit exists on GRANTS. What is turning the situation around, is Distance Learning via the internet. This makes Universities and Colleges practical in many different places. With the small student body available in Belize and the many varied courses and degrees needed, the only way you could begin to supply credits and courses are via distance learning programs.

Tuition is supposed to drop from $50 Bz per credit hour, to $20 Bz per credit hour. Wow! If they teach what I want, I'll be right down next semester. At those prices how you can you beat it? If they have accreditation from abroad, even better. You guys teach Powerbuilder 7.0 Windows compatible software programming. If so, I'm coming right now!

Bachelor Degree programs though are charging $90 per credit hour. Still a bargain!

Much of the organization, has been civil service bureaucratic problems. Salaries, pensions, seniority, Chairpersons, Deans and that sort of thing. It's coming along nicely though. Congratulations to Dr. Cal and all those members who have contributed to this exciting moment in Belize. In case your tired, don't forget, this is the easy part. The hard part comes next.

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