Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Belize gets summer program of teacher training by Edmonton, Alberta, Canada volunteers.

BELIZE WELCOMES EDMONTON, ALBERTA AREA CANADIAN TEACHERS!

For the seventh year Canadian teachers from the area of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada have come to Belize for their summer holidays to run TEACHER TRAINING programs.
The professional volunteer training of local teachers concentrates on advanced learning strategies in Math, Science and Language Arts.
Belize has over 11,000 young children that do not attend primary school at all. Most children do not get to go to High School, or higher tertiary education. Only the elite usually do that. High School and above are not FREE in the country of BELIZE, you have to pay!
This is a ROTARY organized project. On the local scene, ROTARIANS, Chief Education Officer Chris Aird and Rotarian Andre Lopez do the organizing. The program has been supplemented by GRANTS from the Canadian International Development Agency ( CIDA ). The program of teacher training started only in the San Ignacio area of the Western Cayo District, seven years ago; but has since expanded nationwide in this small country with 350,000 people scattered over 6000 square miles.
The current Canadian contingent has 30 Canadian teachers led by Rotarian Jennifer Lawly, her assistant Rotarian Dr. Lynne Paradis. Workshops include Leadership training for Principals, continuing workshops in Math, Science and Language Arts. Over the past seven summer holidays, the program has expanded and 157 local Belizean teachers who have been trained are now acting as COACHES.
Six schools in particular have been equipped with help from the OIL company BNE TRUST, and ROTARY CLUB. Special computer labs with 32 computers were installed for Standard two and five, or Canadian level grades 4 and 7 in the six widely scattered six district targeted schools. BTL has donated 2.5 megs of internet band width. To compare from my own experience, here in Hillview, Santa Elena Town, we are trying to run an International Financial Trading Room Operation, using the only available SMART wireless dialup, using an obsolete slow speed of 115 Kbps. For us in business out in Western Business who rely on the internet, the idea of having 2.5 megs of bandwidth is unimaginable. The six lucky schools are Faith Nazarene Primary in San Ignacio, Mary Hill R.C. School in Corozal, Louisiana Government in Orange Walk, Salavation Army in Belize City, Christ the King in Dangriga and St. Peter Claver in Punta Gorda.
Canadian Rotary Club District 5370 in Canada has generously donated software, teaching aids, computers and many containers of educational material to Belize over the past three years. The people of Belize are very grateful to our Canadian friends in Alberta, Canada.

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