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EDUCATION FOR ALL IN THE CARIBBEAN: ASSESSMENT 2000 MONOGRAPH SERIES 24 - page 13 / 44

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The Framework for Action to Meet Basic Learning Needs proposed six dimensions within which countries might wish to set their targets for the achievement of EFA:

1. Expansion of early childhood care and developmental activities, disadvantaged and disabled children;

  • especially for poor,

  • 2.

    Universal access to, and completion of, primary education (or whatever higher level of education is considered “basic”) by the year 2000;

  • 3.

    Improvement in learning achievement such that an agreed percentage of an appropriate age cohort (e.g., 80 percent of 14 year-olds) attains or surpasses a defined level of necessary learning achievement;

  • 4.

    Reduction of the adult illiteracy rate … to, say, one-half its 1990 level by the year 2000, with sufficient emphasis on female literacy to significantly reduce the current disparity between male and female illiteracy rates;

  • 5.

    Expansion of provisions of basic education and training in other essential skills required by youths and adults…;

6. Increased acquisition by individuals and families of the knowledge, skills and values required for better living and sound and sustainable development, made available through all educational channels including the mass media, other forms of modern and traditional communication, and social action…. (Final report, 1990, p. 53)

Professor Errol Miller (1999), in his monograph Education for All in the Caribbean in the 1990s: Retrospect and Prospect, points out that Caribbean countries did not deal with educational reform under the umbrella of the EFA as a separate entity, but rather dealt with their EFA obligations under the umbrella of their educational reform programmes. Miller noted that some countries (The Bahamas, Barbados, St. Lucia, and Trinidad and Tobago) used comprehensive reform strategies, while others (Belize, Curaçao, and Jamaica) used a project-driven approach.

For analytical purposes, the categories posited by Miller will be used in the final chapter, in order to ascertain whether or not there is a significant difference in the approaches of these two groups of countries to prison education. The two groupings, according to their responses to the EFA programme, are as follows:

  • Category 1 - countries that have developed comprehensive education reform strategies and plans and have established national commissions, task forces, or working groups in order to do this.

  • Category 2 - countries that have adopted a project-driven approach to educational reform and have chosen to reform only specific aspects of their education system.

Prison education will be examined in the different countries under the following headings, deduced from the six target dimensions of EFA:

  • 1.

    Literacy training (introducing and reinforcing basic education and beyond).

  • 2.

    Skills training/Productivity targeting.

  • 3.

    Programmes to effect a positive approach towards health, attitudes, and values.

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