New Methodist High School opens in Belmopan

vlcsnap-2013-08-28-11h59m38s0There is a new high school in Belmopan. The Belmopan Methodist High School opened its doors on Monday, although it is still under major construction. There we met with the Principal of the new institution, Maureen Cayetano. Ms Cayetano explained to us the need for another High School in the Cayo District.

Maureen Cayetano – Principal Belmopan Methodist High School:

vlcsnap-2013-08-28-12h00m17s105The Methodists have always contributed to education.  There’s a Methodist Church here.  We felt that we should have a school here as well.  When the Government was approached, the Government said ‘Yes, there is a need for a school, but the need we have is for a Primary and Secondary School.’  I can tell you in fact there is a need.  We got a lot of applications.  The estimated number on roll right now will be 93.  We have set a maximum target of 96.  We do have people who are still applying.  As a matter of fact, there are more persons with forms than we have space.  So it will be on a first come first served basis.

vlcsnap-2013-08-28-11h59m42s52At these beginning stages the high school is only catering for the first form level and plans to expand to all four levels in the near future. Principal Cayetano explained how this will be achieved

Maureen Cayetano – Principal Belmopan Methodist High School:

The way we plan to do it, it’s going to be phased in.  So next year we’ll have first and second forms.  The building construction will continue, so that next year there will be room for the second form, and in the following year we’ll have third form, and the following year fourth form.

vlcsnap-2013-08-28-12h06m35s55The Belmopan Methodist High School is not a Government School, but a Government Aided School. We asked Principal Cayetano what that means for the teachers, students and the school in general.

Maureen Cayetano – Principal Belmopan Methodist High School:

What it means is that, for example in terms of teachers’ salaries, Government will provide 70%, and we will have to find the rest of it.  The teachers are not to be disadvantaged for coming [here].So they are paid just as every other teacher who qualifies, and who is employed whether in a Government school or in a Government-aided school, because there’s a set salary scale.  So we have to find a way, and that is part of the reason why we charge a school fee, to cover that.

vlcsnap-2013-08-28-12h13m47s49Though the school is founded upon Methodist principles, Maureen Cayetano said they strongly adhere to ecumenism.The Belmopan Methodist High School is now the 5th high school in the quickly expanding capital city.

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