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One of the greatest concerns of the Jamaican government is it's education system. The education system of Jamaica was not a primary concern during it's time as a British colony, but has made great strides since Jamaica was granted it's independence in the 1960's. Christian missionaries were among the first to open private schools in Jamaica. Beside the basic primary education, further education in jamaica still has little to offer. This causes many Jamaicans interested in college education to leave the island to seek their degrees elsewhere.

Prior to the 1960's what education there was offered was generally only available to those in Jamaica's upper class. This only served to deepen the divide between Jamaica's wealthy and poor classes, and this is a struggle that Jamaica continues to address. Primary schools funded by the Jamaican government secondary schools that are privately funded serve as the main education system in Jamaica today. Because if this fact, many jamaicans have been prevented from achieving an education beyond basic literacy.

In 1953 the Ministry of Education in Jamaica began to give greater attention public and private education systems. Education policies were formulated by the jamaican governmentand educational priorities were emphasised. Providing a sufficient degree of education was the government`s objective, and was a turning point in the history of Jamaica.

In 1972 the education system of Jamaica received a mojor overhaul. Universaly free secondary education became standard throughout much of the country. Though this did detract from the quality of education in the primary school system, most jamaicans were very pleased with the changes, since it allowed a great majority of the population to continue their education after primary school.

Yet more great changes took place in the 1980's that great affected jamaica's education system. Though locals are not required to pay for the cost of tuition, their are other costs that they are expected to pay. these costs include books, uniforms, transportation, etc. This has caused some Jamaicans to withdraw their children from the public school system due to such expenses that many cannot afford.

Though Jamaica's education system has struggled and had it's share of setbacks, it still continues forward with a greater number of students, young and old alike, enrolling in public and private schools each year. Currently, due to the governments increased efforts, approximately seventy-five percent of the islands population are literate.


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