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Caribbean Journal of Education

Financing Democratization of Education in the Caribbean Interplay of Private and Public Sources

Publication Date: 
September 1996

Many factors determine access to and the quality of education that a country provides for its citizenry. A major constraint is the high per capita cost of education and the capacity of the state to meet that cost. These issues are focused on from two complementary perspectives. The first part of the paper takes a historical perspective. The democratization of education in the English-speaking Caribbean territories at critical points in their history is traced, including the interplay between economic factors and educational provision. The reader is thus sensitized to the historical context of recent attempts at funding educational access and at qualitative enhancement of outputs. 
The second part of the paper describes actual recent private sector involvement in education in Jamaica. Though the database is limited, since current policy winds suggest that such private sector involvement in funding educational activity is likely to increase, reflective comment on what has been attempted is offered. It is hoped that such a comment might lead to more effective tripartite partnerships between the government, private sector, and the schools in the interest of the wider democratization of education in terms of access and quality.

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