The Head of Delegation for the European Union to Belize, Ambassador Paola handed over training equipment valued at over 1 million dollars to Georgetown Technical High School (GTHS), located in the Stann Creek District on Wednesday 23 September, 2015. The modern state of the art equipment is for practical training in plumbing, masonry, welding, carpentry, electrical,
automotive, sewing, and agriculture. The equipment was made available through the resources of the Banana Accompanying Measures (BAM) Programme which is aimed at fostering social and economic development leading to the reduction of poverty, focusing on workers and their families in the banana belt. CEO in the Ministry of Economic Development, Yvonne Hyde spoke at the handing over ceremony.
Yvonne Hyde, CEO Ministry Economic Development: We all agree that this is going to significantly increase the level of capacity of the school. Over the years the EU and the Government of Belize has enjoyed a fruitful and successful partnership impacting the livelihood of thousands of Belizeans, providing unique opportunities in particular in the Rural areas across the landscape of Belize. The EU, through the banana support program, the previous program to the current one that’s ongoing which was from 1999 to 2008, provided support for primary and secondary education, school construction, and teacher training. In programming funds under the new banana accompanying measures 2012-2013 the EU and the Government of Belize acknowledged the need to support a specific component of education, technical vocational education and training in the Northern Toledo and Stann Creek districts. It is rewarding to know that the education sector in these districts has benefitted from the successful partnership between the European Union and the Government.
This investment in the technical vocational curriculum of the Georgetown Technical High School represents EU’s continued support to Education in southern Belize and according to the E.U. Amnbassador to Belize, technical education is not something to be frowned upon as it plays a crucial role in countries with stronger economies.
H.E Paola Amedi, E.U Ambassador to BZE: There shouldn’t be any discrimination against technical education. If we look at the story of the European Union, if we look at the economy of the European Union it so happens that the country have the stronger technical education are also the ones which are more successful economically which have higher rate of employment, which have stronger rate of growth. It might not necessarily be a direct link but I think we should be looking to it. The fact that you have workforce that is adapted to the industry of the country it’s a place point and we are glad that we can contribute for this to happen here in Belize.
Approximately 600 students enrolled at GTHS and surrounding communities encompassing 21 villages will benefit from this project.