Government will pay for students’ CXC examinations under the Secondary School Finance Reform program. The reform is being rolled out in different phases and in their latest program, the Ministry of Education has partnered with the Ministry of Human Development in conducting the selection process. Research and Planner at the Ministry of Education, Bernaldino Pech explains.

Screen_Shot_2014-10-09_at_8.01.42_PMBernaldino Pech – Research/Planner

“We’re using a data base and a registry system which they are responsible for which seeks to identify and categorize people based on the level of economic assistance that they may need. Now over the course of March and May of this year we visited high schools and attempted to interview students who were in forms one to three along with standard six students across the country and the purpose of that was to target students who potentially will be in high school now. So there are different levels of assistance the ministry wants to facilitate parents with and the first one is assistance with payment of the CXC’s. An announcement was made earlier this week that the Ministry of Education will assist all students who fall within the required categories with sitting six CXC subjects which monetary wise is between $270 to $350 more or less depending on which subject they opt to sit.”

There are eight classifications under this program and according to Pech, once a family receives theirs, students will qualify for assistance. It is important to note however, that families can only be considered if they were a part of the survey that was held between March and May this year. If you didn’t take part, Pech says they will be conducting a second survey and want to target students who are already in fourth form and those who couldn’t participate in the first round.

Bernaldino Pech – Research/Planner

“Not only will students in third form next year qualify for assistance with CXC payments but eventually as part of the broader secondary education schools reform students and families really maybe excepted from paying some or all of the school fees that high schools currently charge so this is part of that larger initiative. But to be considered they must participate and be in the registry if they are not in the registry then the assumption is that they don’t want it and they are able to pay for all these fees. This is for any Belizean student as long as they are within the registry.”

Pech says they will start their second survey next week. They will also be handing certificates to those families who have already qualified next week. Students who are in fourth form now are encouraged to take part in the second round of surveys since CXC payments will be happening next month. The secondary school finance reform has been ongoing for about five years now and is being implemented in phases.

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