Education System in Belize
|Primary||Primary School||5–13||8||Compulsory, Belize National Selection Examination|
|Secondary||Secondary||13–17||4||CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) Examinations|
|Post-secondary||Post-Secondary Diploma or Certificate||17||1–2||CXC Caribbean Advanced Placement Examination (CAPE), General Certificate of Education (GCE)|
The education system in Belize is an approximation of the British system it inherited in Colonial times. It is compulsory for children between ages 6 and 14, and parents may be fined if they do not comply. Notwithstanding this, many children do drop out because their parents are unable to pay the costs of uniforms, books and annual school fees, or need child labor to assist at home. Primary school comprises 2 years of infant classes followed by 6 standards.
The network of secondary schools and vocational training facilities is only able to accommodate half the pupils who complete the primary level. The basic secondary school program lasts 4 years. Some more fortunate students stay on for 2 more years to complete sixth form and qualify to write their cambridge a-levels. Those at private schools with modern equipment including internet access are in a more favorable position.
The center for employment training attempts to improve the employment prospects of young people who did not complete secondary school. The department of labor is responsible for apprentice training programs. Adult training continues to receive attention, on order to assist previously disadvantaged older folk who choose to re-skill.
There are higher education colleges in Belize City and Corozal, of which the University College of Belize illustrated here is the largest. Other post-secondary institutions include the Belize School of Nursing, the Belize School of Agriculture, and the Belize Teachers' College.
However few poor young people receive any benefits from their existence, and the system continues to be skewed in the direction of the children of richer city dwellers.