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Democratization of Education in Jamaica

Continued social progress in Jamaica will be based on an education system that is greatly efficient and this efficiency must have a strong link to democracy and meritocracy. As a country we have made great steps to democratize education at all levels and this has been tied to greater steps to democratize the society. Educational democratization is based on the relationship and interaction of four main interconnected components.
These components are: the democratization of educational activities and access to education, the democratization of education content, infusing the human element as it relates to the functioning of educational institutions as well as extra curricular activities, and last but not least the interconnectedness and democratization of education with the other areas of life.
The task at hand is a big task and it requires the cooperation of all stakeholders. Historically teachers have often been used as the scapegoat for the failures in the education system, however, research tells us that education works best when all the stakeholders play their part and honour their commitment to education.
The job of the government is to ensure they establish good policy and direction as well as provide adequate funding. The job of the teachers is to ensure they deliver the best outcomes for students and the job of school leadership is to ensure that schools deliver on their remit. The last two groups that are key are the parents and students. The government can create the best policy and provide the best funding, however, if parents don’t play their role then the system will struggle to deliver on great outcomes for students. Students have a right to an education, however, we often forget to remind students that they have a responsibility to ensure they position themselves and cooperate with schools and their parents in order to access this education.
Education is the best way to unlock opportunities for the citizens of any society as well as to unlock financial success and wider achievements, hence why the work on the democratization of education has to continue. We must celebrate our gains and seeks further ways to build on what we have achieved thus far.

Article by: Janet Brown B.Ed.

Senior writer at Educate Jamaica