Adult Education For The Caribbean People

1956 words - 8 pages

The Caribbean people have emerged from the experience of slavery with lots of baggage along the way. One such baggage was in the form of barriers to education. The history of adult education stems way back in the colonial days of the 1700s where slaves experienced their first taste of adult education through the apprenticeship system. With this system, slaves were apprenticed to masters who taught them art or a trade which was also inclusive of reading and writing. (History of Adult Education, n.d.). After the abolition of slavery the slaves were introduced to further education in stages. Looking at the challenges encountered in adult education today, one can identify with the many social, economic and cultural factors of yester-year that is still ever so present, but on a different plateau in today’s society. When I reflect upon adult education I cannot help but remember the old saying ‘give a man a fish and he will have food for a day, teach a man to fish and he will have food for life.’ Adult education provides the human resource drivers with the necessary knowledge that would enable adults to sustain himself, his family and by extension the economy for life.
Caribbean people have been enslaved for many years. Even from way back into our history, adults experienced many challenges to be educated. The plantation owners knew the value of education so they went about doing everything in their power to prevent the blacks/slaves from accessing education which was an upward movement of mobility out of slavery. Any slave found reading or writing would be beaten, maimed, or even risk death. Slaves had a voice through their songs, storytelling and cultural observances. When slavery was abolished in 1838, slaves were freed to live their own lives. It was believed that slaves had to learn how to operate as free men and women in society, so they were retained by their owners who taught them trades and paid small wages in return. (Apprenticeship, n.d.) . After the apprenticeship system, lyceums and Chautauqua groups were introduced. These study groups held discussions and introduced the adults to debates and lectures. It was a form of education through socialization.
According to Dr Didicus Jules, adult education in the Caribbean has been suffering due to social, economic and cultural factors. Jules believes that governments are only promising but not fulfilling those promises. (Jules, n.d.). Historically speaking, the Caribbean people also referred to as third world nations were held captive to a past of ignorance, poverty, segregation and discrimination. The Caribbean people as history is told were mostly uneducated people who only had time to try to earn enough money to provide for their families. This resulted in adults who were illiterate. Caribbean people believed that if they provided a proper education for their children then they would have contributed to a better way of life for them. Using the first world countries...

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