Educational reform in Independent Jamaica

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Book Cover: Educational reform in Independent Jamaica
Part of the INTERAMER 54 Educational series:

In Educational Reform in the Commonwealth Caribbean, (1999) Errol Miller Editor, INTERAMER 54 Educational Series. Organisation of American States, Washington D. C. Pp 199-253

This publication describes and discusses educational reforms in Jamaica from the formation of the Ministry of Education in 1953 until 1998, that is, educational reform in Jamaica from the start of the movement to political independence until the twentieth century. It divides the period into two segments, the period of populist government from 1953 until 1977 and the period of structural adjustment 1997 to the end of the twentieth century. This publication describes and discusses education reforms in the populist period such as the governance of the school system; expanding access at the different levels of the education system; equality of opportunity particularly with respect to students with special needs, rural residents and girls; nationalism/regionalism particularly with respect to the capacity to train teachers, the curriculum at the primary and secondary levels and external examinations. Reforms in the period of structural adjustment are identified in relation to the goals of the IMF agreements which were demand management and appropriate economy-wide pricing. The conclusions drawn are related to the extent to which the reforms addressed the colonial legacy of inequality and the marginalization of the majority.

Professor Errol Miller has had a rather unique professional and public service career which has given him almost a three hundred and sixty-degree exposure within the education enterprise. He has been a high school science teacher; university lecturer in science education; college principal; university professor, chancellor of a university college, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Education; independent senator in the Parliament of Jamaica; a president of the teachers’ association; a chairman of the board of the state broadcasting corporation; chairman of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica; a researcher; an author; an international consultant; chairman or member of several school and college boards.