Belize Education Overview for Expats and Retirees with Kids
If you are looking to move to Belize and happen to have school-aged kids, it is natural to want to know everything that you can discover about our country’s school system. As most people are aware, Belize used to be controlled by the British and this British influence has ensured that just about every institution teaches English. What far fewer people know is that Belize has also been heavily influenced by American Catholic Jesuits, meaning that Belize’s educational information and study policies more closely mirror the American education system than the British one. Lastly, half a century of volunteer operations by the U.S. Peace Corp have also helped influence educational policies.
Belize has a public school system that covers every grade from Kindergarten up to high school, with most of the system funded by the government. Those with the means to afford it tend to send their children to private institutions instead. Most private schools with Belize are governed by religious authorities, connected to denominations like Catholicism, the Anglican Church or Methodists.
Belize’s primary school system is split into three groups. While enrollment is mandatory for youths aged 8 to 14, this often goes unenforced due to the monthly fees of even public schools. Said fees average about $20 and go toward a child’s textbooks, supplies, and school uniform.
In a nod to British education, Belize’s secondary schools involve a quartet of single-year “forms.” After this, one can pursue a sixth form, a two-year course equivalent to an American junior college. Any Belizean looking to attend a prestigious university goes abroad, often to schools within the United States or in other Caribbean countries. That having been said, Belize has several technical colleges.
Belize has a great number of private schools, especially within regions of the country known to have a high population of ex-pats. Many of these institutions abide by the International Baccalaureate system and their degrees are accepted by every college and university for gaining admission. The tuition and fees of these recognized schools range between $2,000 and $5,000 per year.
In the Belize District, there are over ten private schools. If you would like a full list of each and every school in Belize, a visit to the Ministry of Education’s website ought to clear up any confusion.
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