History of Caribbean Education

1413 WordsJul 24, 20106 Pages
THE COMMONWEALTH CARIBBEAN/BRITISH CARIBBEAN is the term applied to the English- speaking islands in the Carribbean and the mainland nations of Belize (formerly British Honduras) and Guyana (formerly British Guiana) that once constituted the Caribbean portion of the British Empire. This volume examines only the islands of the Commonwealth Caribbean, which are Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, the Windward Islands (Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada), Barbados, the Leeward Islands (Antigua and Barbuda, St. Christopher [hereafter, St. Kitts] and Nevis, the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, and Montserrat), and the so-called Northern Islands (the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands).…show more content…
Competing Protestant denominations--the Church of England, the Baptists, the Moravians, the Wesleyans, and the Presbyterians--and the Jesuits operated a vast system of elementary and secondary schools. At the end of the nineteenth century, the churches monopolized elementary education in Jamaica and Barbados and ran a majority of the primary schools in Trinidad, Grenada, and Antigua. The most outstanding secondary schools--St. George's College, Kingston College, Jamaica College, Calabar High School, and the York Castle High School in Jamaica; Harrison College, Codrington College, the Lodge School, and the Queens College in Barbados; and Queen's College, St. Mary's, and Naparima in Trinidad--as well as the principal grammar schools in the Bahamas, Antigua, St. Kitts, and Grenada owe their origins to the religious denominations. Each territory had a board of education, which supervised both government and religious schools. Government assistance slowly increased until by the middle of the twentieth century the state eventually gained control over all forms of education. Although far from perfect--most colonies still spent more on prisons than on schools--public education fired the ambitions of the urban poor. Based on the British system--even to the use of British textbooks and examinations--the colonial Caribbean educational system was never modified to local circumstances. Nevertheless, it created a cadre of leaders throughout the region
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