CDB funded education related projects in Belize ready to fulfill mandates

Last month in Belize, the Government moved closer to fulfilling its vision of using education for social, economic, cultural and environmental development. Through funding from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the extension of Grace Primary School in Belize City was inaugurated and at least 20 residents of the Gracie Rock community received certificates of completion from a capacity-building training programme.

The extension to the Grace Primary was inaugurated on May 10, 2017.  Now at least 150 more students can be accommodated at the school where the single-storey reinforced concrete building was constructed at a cost of USD750,138. This will enable the school to address the increasing demand for enrollment and overcrowding.

Along with classrooms, the building includes bathrooms for students and teachers as well as a lunch area. Also, the structure, which will serve as a hurricane shelter for residents of the surrounding community, was built to accommodate persons with disabilities.

The project included the provision of office and computer equipment and a security surveillance system, providing students with access to a safer, secure and more modern learning environment.

On May 13, 2017, in the Gracie Rock community, where ecotourism potential is high, residents were presented with certificates of completion for their participation in the Capacity-Building training programmes. The courses were designed to equip participants with skills that will allow them to increase income from tourism and recreational activities.

The project, which was completed at a cost of USD432, 000, was facilitated by the University of the West Indies Open Campus. The Belize Tourism Board provided Tour Guide Training; the Belize Red Cross Society, First Aid Training; and the Belize Tourism Industry Association, Food Preparation/Hospitality Management.

Through the project, the Gracie Rock Community Centre was also rehabilitated and outfitted with equipment to enable the community to better deliver services to visitors in a professional, marketable and sustainable manner.  The equipment includes kitchen appliances; furniture; computers, a printer and accessories; a projector and screen; canoes; bicycles; inner tubes; vests; and fishing rods.

Together, the training and equipment will support the enhancement of Gracie Rock’s profile as a tourist destination in Belize.

The SIF II loan, combined with USD5.5 million and USD1.6 million committed to Belize in the seventh and eighth cycles of CDB’s Basic Needs Trust Fund respectively, continues to support projects in education and human resource development, water and sanitation improvement, and basic community access and drainage improvement across the country.