Muffles Junior College is the only tertiary level institution in the Orange Walk district. The facility opened its doors on August 24th 1992 with an enrollment of 38 students; today the institution has grown to accommodate over 400 students.

On Monday Muffles Junior College opened its doors for registration of prospective students for the school year 2011-2012. Yesterday we visited the school to find out more about what is being offered by the institution, and basically how registration was going.

adrainAdrian Leiva- Dean Muffles Junior College

“We have concentrations in Accounting, concentrations in Biology, concentrations in Computer science, Economics, Environmental Science, Law, Business management, Mathematics and Sociology so these are the nine concentrations areas that we offering.”

Yari Catzim-Reporter

“When we look at the nine concentrations, which concentration would you hear the students presently targeting to do?”

Adrian Leiva- Dean Muffles Junior College

“Well, interesting this is not only Muffles, this is universal the largest program that captures attention is Business, for some reason or the other and students may up to combine them, for example, a person might choose just to major in Accounting and combine it with something. At Muffles the minute you enrol into the Business Science program you are automatically majoring in management then you may up to add Accounting or Economics to that major.”

Muffles Junior College is the only tertiary level institution which offers an Associates Degree in Law. The program, Leiva says, ranks second in the most sought after concentrations.

Adrian Leiva- Dean Muffles Junior College

“The Law program is not meant only for people who want to be lawyers at present we have five graduates in that program pursuing law degree in England and Barbados. The program serves to inform persons of the rights and obligations in the study of law as a discrete discipline requiring analytical and problem solving skills and to inculcate in them certain positive values which are necessary in a civilized Caribbean society. It is a program that can help clerks, paralegals, administrators, manager’s, policemen and other people engaged in public service so it is not tailored only if you want to engage in law.”

As the institution carries out registrations, there is a worrying problem. For the past two years throughout the country tertiary institutions have been observing a disturbing pattern in the continuity of education from secondary to tertiary levels. Data collected in the past two school years has shown that the amount of juniors continuing into their senior year has dropped by 21%, creating a ripple effect on tertiary level enrollment.

Adrian Leiva- Dean Muffles Junior College

“There is major national concern right now with respect to enrolment in schools and one is the obvious, the economic recession that we are all facing. In addition to that though at tertiary there is this sad reality that there are no jobs. Persons are investing their money to get their Associates Degree and whilst selling on the streets and doing that kind of thing is noble there is nothing dishonest about it people don’t train to do that and so with poor prospects of getting a job that is aligned to what you studied people are getting discouraged from pursuing further studies.”

The issue is creating concern not only in our education system but has caught the eye of our Caribbean counterparts. The Caribbean Development Bank conducted a survey earlier this year to find out where we stand in terms of our education system. Their findings for tertiary level education reported that only 3% of students in Belize are enrolled. This means that our country ranks higher than only Haiti in the entire Caribbean.

Adrian Leiva- Dean Muffles Junior College

“It is affecting Tertiary Education on a whole; the enrolment in Tertiary Institutions is going down so much so that in May representatives from the Caribbean Development Bank came to Belize to look into this matter and I am one of those who was interviewed by them and their concern about the low participation rate in Belize is great. In fact the number of persons who are able to be enrolled in Tertiary right now but are not enrolled is very high, in fact the percentage of people that can be enrolled is only 3% and that is very frightening Belize is only ahead of Haiti the second to last in the line of Caribbean Countries and that is something g to be concerned about.”

Registration at Muffles College is continuous for the next weeks. If you are interested in any of their programs you can call 322-1016 for more information.

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