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University of Belize Centre for Open and Distance Learning

Although the University of Belize has verbally embraced ODL as a desireable option for expanding access to higher education at an affordable cost, the University is yet to make the big step of establishing a Centre dedicated to ODL. Establishing the Centre will send a strong message to the public and the education community that the University is serious about putting its money where its mouth is.

With fifty percent of primary school teachers yet untrained and most unlikely to be able to access training within the next five years, the distance option can serve well in creating opportunity to expand access to teacher training at an affordable cost. The initial cost to set up the infrastructure needed for efficient delivery of distance programmes may appear daunting, however the long term savings will make the investment worthwhile.

Present Targets UB ODL committee is seeking to launch some courses by distance using mixed mode of delivery in the near future. This initiative will meet its own challenges because many issues need to be ironed out - student support being at the top of the list. The main area targetted for on-line course development and delivery is teacher education.