The Love Foundation has joined the Ministry of Education in its consultation tour on curriculum reform. As noted, the ministry is consulting with teachers and other stakeholders via a nationwide tour to seek advice and input into curriculum reform. The goals are to streamline the curriculum, eliminate redundancy, and focus on skills rather than content. Over the years, the Love Foundation has partnered with the Department of Education and this latest partnership comes as no surprise. Executive Director Deborah Seawell explains the role of the foundation.
Deborah Seawell, Executive Director, Love Foundation: “The Love Foundation joined this tour because the Love Foundation has partnered with the Department of Education for four years and we have partnered on issues of integrating good governance, transparency and ethics into everything the program. So, instead of creating a new curriculum, we worked with the QUADS department within the Ministry of Education to incorporate these learning outcomes which would address issues of good governance, transparency and ethics. We have therefore developed real educational tools that will help teachers to be able to teach these lessons more effectively. We have developed videos that are used as educational tools. We also worked with the ministry in teacher training and Pathlight is one of the partners who did the teacher training. Social emotional skills are important for working students. It’s important to them in how they deal with their community. It’s important to them in how they treat people in authority. It’s just important in the way they behave and what we’ve found in our research and in meeting with different schools and different students is that Infant 1 students feel that sometimes when they do things which are wrong, it is justified. So one of the questions we ask Infant 1 students is, if you see $10 coming out of the teacher’s purse, is it okay to take the $10? Or if you see someone taking the $10, is it okay to take the $10 to buy lunch? And we got responses like, it was okay because maybe the person was hungry. It was okay because maybe the person didn’t have money for lunch. We want them to start saying it’s not okay to take the $10 because it’s not yours so those are kind of the lessons and that’s just one example of a baby lesson 1. But those are kind of the lessons we want high school students to understand that it’s not okay to pay to get your driver’s license, to take the test, to you have to get a learner’s permit, that you have to go through the stages because it’s not acceptable to circumvent the rules that are set out to be able to justify what you need and what you want. This is why we believe that infusing good governance, transparency and ethics into the curriculum is something that would benefit our students, as it would also make them better human beings and better citizens.
Pathlight Belize, an NGO present in the country for 14 years, is also a partner of the minister. According to the executive director of Pathlight, Adele Catzim-Sanchez, the NGO has three programs that are implemented, including the teacher training program.
Adele Catzim Sanchez, Executive Director, Pathlight Belize: “We are participating with the government in uploading virtual trainings to the Teacher Learning Institute and so the teacher training program is the program that best matches what we are doing here today at this curriculum reform event. We also have a sponsorship plus program in which we recruit students from the primary level and offer them scholarships for at least four years of high school. We provide them with everything, we provide them with programs in an after-school format that reinforces Christian values because we are a Christian organization, but we also have a leadership and governance development program. We have the spiritual development and character building program for all students in our scholarship initiative. We also offer them graduate scholarships for some of them who wish to continue.
Journalist: Oh cool.
Adele Catzim Sanchez, Executive Director, Pathlight Belize “Yes and we have a community partner program that connects schools and we provide infrastructure development support for schools primarily in the Belmopan area.”
Pilot schools in each district have adopted the program.