Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean

Book Cover: Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Part of the OREALC series:
  • Teacher Education and Training Policies in the Commonwealth Caribbean
Part of the UNESCO series:

 In Teacher Training: A Contribution to Discussion on Some Country Experiences. UNESCO/OREALC Santiago, Chile: 2002. Pp 15 – 32

This Chapter defines the Commonwealth Caribbean historically, linguistically, geographically and culturally and discusses and clarifies the fact Commonwealth Caribbean practice does not fit neatly into the association of pre-service teacher education with formal teacher training and in-service teacher education with non-formal on the job training. It proceeds to briefly describe the historical pattern of teacher education in the sub-region between the 1830 and the 1950s. It also gives are a brief description of developments in teacher education in response to the transformation of national systems of education in relation to political independence development between the 1850s and 1980s. These developments in teacher education included building capacity, quantitative expansion, qualitative improvements and changes in the modes of delivery of education and training.

While these developments were impressive there was no celebration because of new imperatives that required an urgent response. These imperatives included a decline in the status of teachers, shrinking resources, the rapid rise of globalization, the spread of democracy and greater economic and cultural ties between countries in the region.

The teacher education and training policies that emerged in the Commonwealth Caribbean in the 1990s are described and discussed under four heading:

  • Upgrading the academic and professional standards of pre-service programmes
  • In-service training to support the education reform agenda
  • The integration of pre-service and in-service training
  • Upgrading teacher trainers.
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Education for All in the Caribbean in the 1990’s

Retrospect and Prospect. EFA in the Caribbean: Assessment 2000

Book Cover: Education for All in the Caribbean in the 1990's
Part of the UNESCO series:

Education for All in the Caribbean in the 1990s: Retrospect and Prospect. EFA in the Caribbean: Assessment 2000. (2000) Monograph Series 19 UNESCO. Kingston.

Foreword by Colin Power, Deputy Director of UNESCO

The World Conference on Education for All held in Jomtien, Thailand in March 1990 set six major goals for basic education that was to be achieved by the year 2000. The World Forum in Dakar, Senegal in 2000 received assessments of what has been achieved following Jomtien and set Education for All goals that should be achieved by 2015. The Monograph Series commissioned by UNESCO records the 2000 Assessment. Education for All in the Caribbean in the 1990s: Retrospect and Prospect examined what had been achieved in the Caribbean over the decade of the 1990s in the six target dimensions and, using these achievements as the base, projected what should be the priorities going forward for the Caribbean in the first decades of 21st century.

The Assessment showed that although different countries of the Caribbean had approached the EFA goals differently substantial progress had been made in achieving or surpassing these goals. Among the main conclusions were the following:

  1. The Caribbean had included secondary education as part of the basic education although secondary education was not part of the EFA goals.
  2. The English, Dutch, and the French-speaking Caribbean had all progressed in achieving EFA quantitative goals with respect to early childhood, primary and adult literacy education with the English and Dutch Caribbean making much greater progress that the more modest achievements of Haiti.
  3. With respect to quality, the Dutch and English Caribbean may have been close to the limit of what could reasonably be expected from existing levels of resources, technology, teacher quality, and school organization.

The Monograph identified ten priority areas for EFA in the Caribbean in the first decades of the 21st century. These were overcoming the limits of existing organization, human and financial resources and traditional technology; the status and conditions of service of teachers; enhancing data management capacities; enhancing learning environments and enriching learning experience; establishing common quantitative and quality standards; motivating parents and students in the current socioeconomic climate; delivering and measuring basic education provided to adults; harmonizing and standardizing basic education across the Caribbean; setting targets and timeframes for achieving universal secondary; and strengthening the coordination of the EFA movement in the sub-region.

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