Secondary education in Belize corresponds to the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) Levels 2 and 3. There are two levels at high schools: 1) lower secondary and 2) upper secondary. Lower secondary curriculum is designed to build on foundational skills and also to provide students with some exposure to different fields. This level corresponds to ISCED level 2. Core courses usually include English, Mathematics, Spanish, Social Studies, Integrated Science, Information Technology and Religion. Upper secondary corresponds to ISCED level 3. The curriculum usually includes core courses and subjects organized into areas of professional specializations. Common concentrations are Business, Science and Arts.
The official secondary school age is 13-16 years. Secondary education programmes are designed to provide instruction and training suited to the ages, abilities and aptitudes of students between twelve and eighteen years of age. Secondary education is not compulsory.
Secondary education programmes are four years in duration (Forms 1-4). The minimum number of school days is 180 days. The minimum hours of instructional time per day is six hours.
A primary school certificate is required for entry into secondary school. In schools where there are limited spaces, school grades and performance on the PSE may be considered in selecting students. Secondary school is not compulsory.
Most students at the secondary level take one or more Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examinations (CSEC) Examinations at the end of Form 4. The sitting of CSEC Exams is not mandated; however, students who meet certain criteria established by the MoECST may earn tuition scholarships and grants for tertiary education. CSEC exams are also used as matriculation criteria by some regional and international universities.
Promotion and Exit Requirements
Promotion and completion of secondary education is based on meeting the requirements outlined in school policies. Students who complete the programme are awarded a Secondary School Diploma.
Staff Pedagogical Qualifications
A full licence for teaching at the secondary level requires a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education or a Bachelor’s Degree in a subject area with a Diploma in Secondary Education.
Directory of Secondary Schools