Funding education in Jamaica
THE EDITOR, Sir:
"Let technology lead the way in education." That was the push of Meleisa Witter's Sunday Gleaner column (January 25, 2015), and I applaud her efforts to educate and inform us as to the possible directions of Jamaican education. I wish she could have been even more hopeful.
A lesson offered here, small as it might be, comes from looking back to the mid-1990's, when high schools in Kingston were first trying to set up the Internet in Jamaica. As teacher-director of the computer department, such as it was, I was there at what was Henry Fowler's The Priory High School on Old Hope Road.
In its private glory days, The Priory was something of a microcosm of would-be world-class education. It had a highly diverse student body and many of the island's best-qualified and experienced teachers.
Had it been managed properly and adequately funded, like many others, I believe it could have made a real contribution to Jamaican education, even as a private school. After all, don't all private Jamaican schools bear greatest responsibility to the nation that allows them to exist and flourish?
The saddest thing was that the movers and shakers of Kingston society certainly had the money, but apparently didn't think Jamaica was worth the investment. Now imagine where Jamaican education, both private and public, might be today if those same big men and women had thought so a generation ago. Then imagine where the nation can be in another 25 years if their children's generation cares enough to put their money where their hopes lie today.