Caribbean Human Capital Development

Topics: Human capital, Barbados, Education Pages: 4 (1214 words) Published: February 2, 2013
Caribbean Human Capital Development

Caribbean political leaders such as Sir Grantley Adams (Barbados), Sir Norman Manley (Jamaica) and Dr. Eric Williams (Trinidad) believed in the principle of enhancing Human Capital. Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the Human Capital Theory in its application to Caribbean societies. As the world industrializes, the desire to optimize efficiency and maximize profits is paramount to societal development. Many have written on this, proposing numerous theories on how the worker may perform at his/her best using ethical methods or motivation. One such ideology is the Human Capital Theory. Introduced by Adam Smith, the ‘father of economics’, this theory seeks to create a link between education of the worker and enhanced productivity. This school of thought will be discussed in this essay, along with its merits and demerits in applying it to Caribbean society. Human capital theorists believe that the economic success of a business is directly proportional to the education of its labour force. It is a functionalist idea that reveres the meritocratic system of education. It advocates the moving away from manual labour and seeks to develop a specialized population whose expertise will facilitate capital accumulation and ultimately, the progress of the country as a whole. The theory has been embraced by some of our most instrumental leaders, such as Sir Grantley Adams of Barbados and Dr Eric Williams of Trinidad. As a result, these individuals placed a great emphasis on the education of the masses and constructed many schools on the islands. Perhaps the most evident and successful sign of these efforts was the birth of the University of the West Indies, which has greatly aided in the creation of a Caribbean intelligentsia. However, recently, the rapid acceptance of this model has come into question. To what extent has it been successful in the Caribbean?

Firstly, the Human Capital Theory was initially beneficial because it...
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