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Ministry of Education Moves to Expand Inquiry Based Pedagogy and STEAM

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Belmopan. December 5, 2019. The Government of Belize has secured assistance through the Inter-American Development Bank to execute Education Quality Improvement Program (EQIP) II. The program comes at a cost of US$10,000,000.

The EQIP II is designed mainly to improve the quality and gender equity of education at the primary and secondary levels, with a special focus on innovation in Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education at the secondary level.

Honorable Patrick Faber, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education, has clearly signaled the need to foster innovation and creativity in education. He has challenged stakeholders to assist in the shaping of an education system “that is increasingly relevant and one that encourages the development of critical thinkers, problem solvers and innovators”.

The EQIP II was therefore designed with the following objectives: (i) improve the quality of primary school teachers by expanding the inquiry-and problem-based learning approach; (ii) improve the quality of secondary school teachers by improving teaching practices with a focus on student-centered science and mathematics learning; and (iii) promote gender-sensitive STEAM teaching.

One of the key components of the EQIP II is the Inquiry-and-Problem-based Learning in the Primary School Classroom, which aims to roll out the EQIP to the fifty percent (50%) of primary schools that have not yet benefitted, bringing the coverage to one-hundred percent (100%) of primary schools nationwide. Another key component is a STEAM Learning Secondary School by creating a Belize STEAM Laboratory School to train teachers, model individualized instruction that centers around the student, and foster innovation and digital transformation in STEAM subjects.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is providing technical assistance in the curriculum design of the STEAM school.

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