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File:2014 UN International Year for Small Island Developing States SIDS Samoa.jpg

Congratulations SIDS: 2014 is the UN International Year for Small Island Developing States - SIDS !

  1. Read all about it at
  2. Remember: 2008–2017 Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty
  3. Remember: 2005-2014 Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (2005-2014)
  4. Remember: The 2012 theme: "Indigenous Media, Empowering Indigenous Voices", a topic to which OLPC aligns closely.
  5. The priority areas, chosen by the SIDS

Studies conducted by the Belizean government and outside observers in the late 1980s indicated that between one-quarter and one-third of students enrolled in primary education left school before they reached fourteen, the minimum age at which a student could legally drop out. Dropout rates and absenteeism were higher in rural areas, largely because of the seasonal demand for agricultural labor and the perception that schooling beyond the basic level offered no increased opportunities. It is for this reason our goal is to give each child a laptop. There is an internet cafe in rural Maya Mopan next to a school. Your investment in these children capacity to learn can change future generations.

In both rural and urban areas, students who dropped out of primary school (or, indeed, failed to attend) generally belonged to the poorest and least-empowered segments of Belizean society: the children of subsistence farmers, agricultural laborers, illegal aliens, and the inhabitants of the urban slums. Without primary school credentials, these individuals faced the continued prospect of lifelong underemployment or unemployment. This cycle can stop with your contribution of a laptop.

Selectivity in the education system intensified at the secondary level. No more than 60 percent of the students who graduated from primary school, or less than 40 percent of all children in that age-group, made the transition to secondary institutions. Again, the percentage of students entering secondary schools was even lower in rural areas, where less than one-third of eligible youth pursued education beyond the primary level as of the early 1980s. Although the construction of new schools in the districts had helped to alleviate this problem, the majority of rural youth still lacked a secondary education.

Although government statistics claim a 93% literacy rate, the adult illiteracy rate estimated by UNESCO stood at 29.7% in 1995. Primary education is free and compulsory for children between the ages of five and 14 and includes eight grade levels. Secondary education covers four years and consists of either a general course of study or classes at a vocational or trade school. Most schools are church-affiliated but still supported by the government. In 1995, there were 51,377 pupils in 277 primary schools, with 1,976 teachers. There were 10,272 students and 758 teachers in secondary schools that same year. In 1995, it was estimated that 97% of school age children were enrolled in primary school. Approximately 36% of children (male, 33%; female, 39%) were enrolled in secondary school. In 1999 the pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools was 23 to 1. Read more: Education - Belize

Contact information --Rebecca Stanke 14:44, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

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