If you’re moving to Belize with school-age children, it’s only natural that you’d want to learn more about the educational system in Belize. As you probably already know, Belize is a former British colony, so almost all of the schools in the country teach in English. But what you may not know is that Belize has been heavily influenced by Catholic Jesuits from the United States, so the educational materials and pedagogy in Belize is much more American than it is British. And 50 years of Peace Corps volunteers from the U.S. have also left their mark.
Belize does have a public school system ranging from kindergarten through high school and the system is mostly funded by the government. Most expats and Belizeans who can afford it, usually choose to send their children to private schools. Most of the private schools in Belize are run by religious organizations, predominantly Catholic, Anglican (Church of England), or Methodist.
In Belize, the primary education system is broken into three categories: primary, secondary, and tertiary. Enrollment is mandatory for all children aged 8-14, but this is often unenforced because even public school attendance involves paying monthly fees (around $20) for books, supplies, and uniforms.
Similar to the British system, the Belizean secondary education system consists of four one-year “forms.” This can be followed by a sixth form, a two-year course of study that is roughly analogous to junior college in the United States. Belizeans wishing to attend educational institutes of higher learning study in the Caribbean or the United States, although there are technical colleges in Belize.
The private school sector in Belize is very active, especially in areas with higher concentrations of expats like Belize City, Belmopan, Corozal, Placencia, and the island of Ambergris Caye. Many of these schools follow the International Baccalaureate system, and these degrees are accepted worldwide (including in the United States) for admission to college or university. Tuition and fees for these international schools can run from between $2,000 to $7,000 a year.
In Corozal District, there are five private schools, two of which have instruction in Spanish and three in English. For a complete listing of all schools in Belize, visit the Ministry of Education’s website.
If you’re looking for a great place to live in Belize and raise your family, choose Cerros Sands. A true “community in the country,” Cerros Sands is located in the northern Corozal District of Belize just a few miles south of the border with Mexico.