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´╗┐THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IN THE SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL CHARACTER OF THE BAHAMAS Every country has the obligation to abolish illiteracy among its citizens. The process of education is fundamental to eradicating such illiteracy and sustaining its growth and progress. It is noteworthy that the basic education in The Bahamas includes ? but is not limited to ? the three R?s: reading, writing, and arithmetic along with the successful completion of grade twelve standard school works. The pursuit of higher education at the College of the Bahamas and abroad, has increased in recent years as thousands of Bahamians aspire to raise their standard of living and success. Sir Lynden?s vehement fight to eradicate illiteracy and poverty and move this country to first world status has done much for this country?s growth and development. His dream was to empower people through education. Education, by nature, has the power to impact any human society. It is a must have if we aspire to achieve growth and development and most importantly, sustain ourselves. Education trains the human mind to think and make the right decision. Through education, knowledge and information is received and spread throughout the world. An educated man is likened unto a man who lives in a room with all its windows open toward the outside world, whereas an uneducated man is described as shut off from the outside world. Higher education has long been recognized as critical to the social and economic and cultural development of our nation. . The pursuit of this goal has taken on many different forms. The establishment of the College of The Bahamas and other educational entities has significantly increased opportunities for higher and continuing education locally. ?A good educational system is the foundation of any country; and more significantly it is an important factor in the development of third world countries. However, this progress requires the cooperation of people with different abilities, different experiences and specialized training, working together to produce a dynamic system which could ...read more.


They blamed many of the failures on the policies implemented under Majority Rule, namely, the end of academic elitism ? as associated with the Old Government High School where students were selected on basis of entrance exams. It is said they sought the best and brightest students and tried to provide a superior academic education. Many believe the obliteration of this kind of system within the public school system caused education to suffer. Other policies of Bahamianisation preference for Bahamian teachers in the school system; social promotion of students in grades without passing grades- have all affected the educational system. A story is shared with me of a parent who broke down and begged for her third grade child not to have to repeat third grade; she promised to help! Today, the child is struggling and frustrated not able to keep up with the requirements of fourth grade. This coalition of private sector organizations warned that the country?s present education ?crisis? would have a serious detrimental impact on the national economy by the year 2020 if immediate steps are not taken to reform education. Notwithstanding, when we look back at the history of education in our society, we note that there are hundreds of Bahamians who have been impacted positively by the public education system. Role of Education in Economic Character of The Bahamas ?The developments that have occurred in the Bahamian education over the thirty years since Independence attest to the varied efforts that have been made to create a national system capable of equipping Bahamians to play meaningful roles in the life of their country.?[7] Do you think our country will ever look back if the people are fully educated, have some incomes to support their families, are aware of the happening in the world and contribute to the nation?s development? I don?t think so! Education is one of the best predictors of success in the labor market. ...read more.


Unfortunately, the ?system? seems to have failed in its endeavor to educate its citizens. This has resulted in many not maximizing their full potential of becoming ?fully educated?. With failing grades, violence, demoralized students and teachers, is there any hope of our country getting back on track towards a first-class status? ?Despite the challenges in education, the vast majority of the nation?s young people lead productive, purposive lives. For the most part they are law-abiding and looking forward?.[13] Today, more than ever before in human history, the wealth?or poverty?of nations depends on the quality of higher education. Those with a larger repertoire of skills and a greater capacity for learning can look forward to lifetimes of unprecedented economic fulfillment. But in the coming decades the poorly educated face little better than the dreary prospects of lives of quiet desperation. Are we doing enough to use all of our formal and informal educational resources and processes to bring greater development, improvement and enrichment to all the people of our country so that our personal, social and economic standing in the world may be enhanced? The Nobel peace prize recipient, philosopher, theologian and man of God, the late Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. made this profound statement which can be our guiding light: WHEN EVIL MEN PLOT, GOOD MEN MUST PLAN. WHEN EVIL MEN BURN AND BOMB, GOOD MEN MUST BUILD AND BIND. WHEN EVIL MEN SHOUT UGLY WORDS OF HATRED, GOOD MEN MUST COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE GLORIES OF LOVE. WHERE EVIL MEN WOULD SEEK TO PERPETUATE AN UNJUST STATUS QUO, GOOD MEN MUST SEEK TO BRING INTO BEING A REAL ORDER OF JUSTICE. This paper has been instrumental in enlightening and confirming the author?s passion and beliefs regarding the importance of education in our society. In it highlights of a few of the social, economic and cultural benefits that education brings to our nation are revealed. These effects are substantial, but nevertheless will be more potent and effective, once our education system is reformed. The author hopes this paper will be instrumental in helping you, the reader, value education. ...read more.

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