Belize's Rural Education and Agriculture Programme: Some factors that have contributed to its success

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Belize has achieved a good deal of success with its Rural Education and Agriculture Programme (REAP). REAP was initiated in 1976 to create the attitudes and provide the skills necessary for rural youth to make meaningful contributions to the country's agricultural development. Initiated by an intra-ministerial and international agency group, REAP was conceived in three phases extending over a 10-year period. During the pilot phase (1976 to 1979), the programme was tested in eight primary schools in three of the country's six districts, and in one secondary school. A special programme was developed to train teachers for the REAP programme, and outdoor education centres were constructed in each pilot school to give students an opportunity to apply their learning in an agricultural setting. The main thrust of the district level phase (1979 to 1982) was the expansion of REAP to all six districts in Belize, with the gradual transfer of much of the technical and material assistance received from foreign agencies to the government ministries, district-level officials, and community groups and service organizations. REAP's national-level phase began in 1982. REAP has received favourable evaluations from students and teachers alike, and 80 percent of the programme's graduates have remained in rural Belize in some form of agriculture. The programme is not without shortcomings including, perhaps, too much stress on gardening at the expense of academic training. Despite these, there is little evidence to suggest that the programme's goal of becoming a real force in Belize's socio-economic development is overly ambitious

Vocationalising Education Conference, London, England, 7-9 May, 1986
London University. Institute of Education
Table of Contents