EduExchange: The Impact of the Liberalisation of Telecommunication in Jamaica

Please join the Caribbean Partners for Educational Progress Community of Practice (CoP) and guest moderator Dr. Paula Daley-Morris for an EduExchange discussion onthe impact of the liberalisation of the telecommunications in Jamaica.

To join this discussion, click "Sign in to join this discussion" button to the right and sign in with your CoP account. Please email the Facilitators with any questions about registering or participating in this EduExchange.


Day 1 April 22, 2014 Economical, Social & Educational Changes that Resulted from the Liberalisation of Telecommunications in Jamaica
Day 2 April 23, 2014 Liberalisation as a Catalyst for the Uncontrollable Rise in Cybercrimes in Jamaica
Day 3 April 24, 2014 The Legal Gaps Created by the Liberalisation of Telecommunications in Jamaica

The liberalization of telecommunications in Jamaica has far reaching effects.  Liberalization removed the monopoly of Cable and Wireless on the Jamaican telecoms industry.  According to Golding (2012),

"Prior to 1999 the Jamaican telecommunications sector was dominated by Cable and Wireless Jamaica, (C&WJ) …[because] in 1988 the company was granted five exclusive licenses each for 25 years, which would be valid until 2013, with options for extensions for a further 25 years. The licenses made C&WJ the sole provider of the island’s domestic and international telephone service and guaranteed an after-tax rate of return of 17.5% - 20%. The Minister responsible for telecommunications had the authority to establish minimum standards of service quality… C&WJ basically regulated itself with limited government supervision. The Jamaican Government (GoJ) in an effort to develop a competitive and vibrant telecommunications industry and to move Jamaica towards knowledge-based connected society, embarked on an effort to liberalize the telecommunications industry. This led to the phased liberalization of the sector in September 1999."

There is a tendency to discuss positives that liberalization have caused without linking those changes to societal issues that came about with improved telecoms access.  Certainly, liberalization has changed the way that Jamaicans communicate, do business and access communication.  It is responsible for the growth that is evident in the entertainment business, the way people access educational opportunities and a slew of other developments such as the regularization of the cable television industry and mobile communication industries.  

It is true, that liberalization of this sector has resulted in important economical, social and educational changes. However, it is also the catalyst for the uncontrollable rise in cybercrimes.  Liberalization although positive for the most part occurred in a society that was ill-prepared to police the societal ills that came with it.  I speak of deviant and dishonest practices that have impacted the Jamaican society in many ways, i.e. the grow in the pornography and child pornography sector; web-supported white collar crimes; wide scale hacking; computer and telephone scamming; sexting, cyber stalking, voyeurism, increased petty crimes, such as the stealing of cell phones, tablet computers, to name a few.   The Jamaican society was made ready to extract the improvements in lifestyle, but the common man was not prepared to defend himselves against the potential victimization that came with liberalization of the telecoms industry.

This forum provides a platform through which we can examine the opportunities and identify the threats of liberalization.  


08:46 AM|PDaley-Morris| Last comment by PDaley-Morris
0 New
09:59 AM|PDaley-Morris| Last comment by Alesia
0 New
09:26 AM|PDaley-Morris| Last comment by Alesia
0 New

Comments (2)

Althea's picture

Telecommunication has facilitated the use of online transactions such as bill payments, shopping, research and general socialization.  With the penetration of the internet into rural areas within the island, individuals are now able to better communicate with each other.  

The social network such as facebook is not only used as a means of socialization but some teachers use it to facilitate learning.  In a conversation with a teacher, she mentioned that her students were all on face book so she created a group for the class and discussed the lessonsand posted assignments. With this method, she noted that there was improved participation in class as well as an improvement in performance among the students. 

There are also teachers who conduct classes using Moodle’s free software e-learning platform, which is also referred to as a Learning Management System, or Virtual Learning Environment. 

 Indeed, there have been many economic, social and educational benefits that one can be acquired through its use. As a nation, Jamaica is now able to become more competitive in the global marketplace. 


10031613's picture

The liberalization of telecommunication in Jamaica is definitely an opportunity to improve learning outcome for students at all levels.  I however think it is underutilized especially at the primary and secondary levels of the education system.   It is obvious from the performance of our students in high stakes examinations such as the GSAT and O’ level examinations that they have not all maximized their learning potentials.  How much consideration is given to the individual learning needs and learning styles of our students in the traditional class room setting? It is predominantly a one size fits all approach that currently exits.  


The liberalization of telecommunication means that educational leaders and teachers are free to explore all the technological possibilities at their disposal to better engage students in the teaching learning process.   I believe that the children are ready as they are all technologically savvy and have the aptitude to learn using technology.  Most of our educational leaders and teachers however are not willing to let go of cherished traditional approaches to teaching and learning.   This has resulted in children who are bored and disengaged.   Learning in these circumstances therefore lack depth.


Liberalization of telecommunication definitely allows educators to think outside of the box.  Critical to the existence of children is fun and play.  Teachers need to seriously consider the maxim - What is learned with pleasure is learned full measure.  All teachers must therefore accept the challenge to make learning fun through the use of technology.    Technology gives students the opportunity to actively participate in knowledge acquisition and creation instead of being passive recipients. 


The time is therefore right to make better use of technology in class rooms.  This is definitely the way to go.  There is the need for policy and curricula changes, which will make it mandatory to use technology to foster learning.  We need transformational leaders who will awaken the sense of urgency needed to make it happen.  We need to act now in order to catch up with the rest of the world.  Our survival as a nation depends on this.