Belize Launches National Curriculum Framework

BELMOPAN, Belize –Belize has formally launched the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) that it says will guide the transition to competency-based education in the country.

NCFwoThe Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology (MoECST) said it has been collaborating with education stakeholders over the past eight months to develop the NCF and has assembled a team of competent and experienced educators and professionals to produce the new competency-based curriculum for pre-schools and primary schools that will be based on the new NCF.

“In sequence will be the development of competency-based unit plans and assessments, utilizing authentic student-centered pedagogies such as inquiry, discovery, cooperative, experiential, problem- and project-based learning,” the MoECST said.

It said the upcoming 2022-2023 school year will serve as a transition and pilot year for all pre-schools and primary schools, as well as for the high schools that decide to participate. It will also serve as an important time to continue efforts at “catching up” for students who have fallen behind due to the pandemic.

All pre-schools, primary schools, and secondary schools should be following the new NCF by the 2023-2024 school year, the ministry said, adding that during the 2023-2024 academic year, lesson plans will be available for teachers and principals on the virtual platform. Unit plans and assessments for pre-schools and primary schools will be available incrementally on the ministry’s virtual platform during the period August to June next year.

The ministry said it will work closely with high schools that have an interest in commencing implementation of the National Curriculum Framework during the 2022-2023 school year.

In addition, in August, the Teacher Learning Institute (TLI) will be offering professional development courses that will be focused on training teachers on competency-based education for pre-schools and primary schools.

The courses will cover the NCF, an introduction to competency-based education and how to use the unit plans and assessments to develop lesson plans. There will be ongoing training throughout the 2022-2023 academic year on these and related topics. The ministry will be partnering with Pathlight International to deliver similar courses for high schools via the TLI.

“The Ministry of Education, Culture, Science, and Technology remains committed to the objective of reforming the national curriculum so that students can gain the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes needed for personal and national development,” the statement said.