Institutionalized Education in the Caribbean

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According to Jules (2010), “We are at a historical juncture in the Caribbean when we must take careful stock of where we are, where we seek to go and how we intend to get there.” In light of changes in the global economy, technology and society, I believe it is necessary to reevaluate our educational aims in order to meet the needs of contemporary Caribbean society. Jules (2010) is of the opinion that in order to meet these modern challenges the Caribbean needs to employ effective measures within the education system which will meet the present needs of society. I believe that there are key aims which should be the focus of regional education. In considering what I think education should achieve, the term ‘education’ will be viewed in the context of formal schooling, that is, institutionalized education. Education in the institutional sense refers to one’s development as result of what takes place in schools or any other formal educational institution (Cornel & Hamm, 1989). Schools should take on the task of developing individuals who are able to meet our economic, technological and social needs. Research has shown that knowledge and skills developed in school are the foundation for one’s future success in the workplace and is an indicator for economic growth, (Matthews, 2013). Thus, education in contemporary Caribbean society should seek to develop knowledgeable, skilled and critical thinkers, all while perpetuating aspects of our culture and maintaining a sense of morality. Peters (as cited by Cornel & Hamm, 1989), views education as achieving something of value not only in the extrinsic sense as in the attainment of a job or skill, but that education for its own sake is valuable in its own right. I believe that gaining ... ... middle of paper ... ...cation reform in the Caribbean today. “The purpose of education has always been to everyone, in essence, the same – to give the young the things they need in order to develop in an orderly, sequential way into members of society” (Dewey, 1934). This idea as proposed by Dewey eight decades ago can also be applied to contemporary Caribbean society. Institutionalized education is the vehicle by which this logical and sequential development can occur. By providing citizens with knowledge and skills which are in line with our economic needs and technological advancements, we will be able to meet present demands. In addition, the perpetuation of moral and cultural values will ensure a stable and unified society. Though these aims are to some extent reflected in our current education system, much work needs to be done to ensure that they are adequately implemented.

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