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  • The use of Transcendental Meditation Techniques, which takes the form of 20-minute sessions, aimed at relaxing and energising the body and calming the mind.

  • Rehabilitation and aftercare for inmates with drug addiction problems. A centre has been established for this purpose.

  • Counselling classes for inmates who have interpersonal conflicts. They are introduced to group counselling as a peace-making technique.

The information presented shows that while there appears to be no organised and structured adult education programme available to the general adult population, the situation is the opposite for incarcerated adults. The government seems to be making a concerted effort to promote the goals of EFA within the prison system. There are, however, numerous obstacles in trying to achieve this, including the lack of proper infrastructure. There is only one room which has the capacity to hold 10 inmates at any given time, in which classes for 360 inmates are being held. In addition, staff has not been adequately trained to properly manage the rehabilitation programme. However, the government is planning to address these problems in the near future.


Literacy Programmes in the General Adult Population

The Jamaican government established an agency with a specific mandate to provide literacy training for adults over 15 years. This programme, popularly known as JAMAL (Jamaica Movement for the Advancement of Literacy), provides basic reading, writing, and numeracy skills; integrates literacy and occupational skills to make participants more marketable; provides remedial education to young adults who did not meet the entry requirements for skills training; and offers computer-assisted training programmes.

In 1994, a survey conducted by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) indicated that 24% of Jamaican adults was illiterate, with males having an illiteracy rate 12.2% higher than the female rate; 86.5% of the 15-19 age group was found to be literate in comparison to 47.9% of the 65 years and over age group. This was what contributed to the change in government strategy towards adult education in 1998, and the development of the Work Place Literacy Project (involving 386 participants, of whom 75% were males). There was more emphasis on evening and day classes at 23 locations island-wide, for over 11,000 participants. There is, therefore, a structured and organised programme geared towards the eradication of adult illiteracy among the general population. This indicates that the government of Jamaica is dedicated to following the EFA guideline on adult literacy.

Literacy Programmes in the Prison Population

Ms. Ina Porter, former Deputy Commissioner of Corrections stated, at the Culture of Peace workshop, that 50% of the inmates of correctional institutions (formerly known as prisons) were unable to achieve learning goals because they lacked the necessary education or literacy skills to do so (UNESCO, 1998) Moves have been made to expand the literacy programmes, with the assistance of NGOs, government agencies, and religious and civic groups. The aim is to reduce the number of illiterate inmates and equip them to benefit from opportunities for further education wherever they might be. There is also a programme in which 60 officers are trained to teach literacy skills to adults in the institutions. Opportunities are also available for inmates to sit the Jamaica School Certificate (JSC) and CXC examinations. Thus, there are attempts to introduce literacy skills in Jamaica’s correctional institutions in order to assist in the rehabilitation process.


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