General — 17 June 2014 — by Adele Ramos

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) announced today that it has approved a US$10 million loan “designed to help Belize improve its primary education and the governance of its education system.”

The loan is for 25 years, with a grace period of 5 years. The interest rate is pegged to the LIBOR, meaning London Interbank Offered Rate – a variable London-based benchmark which represents lending rates between leading global banks.

According to the IDB, the initiative is a part of a program to enhance the quality of primary education and governance of education system.

“The program aims to prepare the teachers of today and tomorrow by supporting training institutes for new teachers and by training close to half of the country’s current primary education teachers,” the bank said.

It added that primary school principals will also be trained under the program and an information system for education management, which will benefit all primary and secondary schools, will be developed as a part of the initiative.

“In recent years, the IDB has increasingly supported efforts to improve education and quality of teaching in Belize, and education is one of four priority areas in the Bank’s current country strategy with Belize,” the IDB explained.

It said that the program directly supports Belize’s national education strategy (2011-16), designed to alleviate high rates of grade repetition.

The bank noted that “only 48 percent of girls and 38 percent of boys make it all the way through primary school without repeating a grade.”

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