Mr. John Brown

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It is however, the basic schools that cater to most children in that age group, and it is claimed that it all began when co-founder of the Meadowbrook High School, Rev. Henry Ward, founded the first such school in Islington, St Mary, in 1938 because he wanted to save the scores of children left unprotected while their parents were at work. And through the instrumentality of Henry Ward, a committee was set up by the government that studied infant education in Jamaica and made recommendations, which led to the establishment of an infant centre in Kingston. Public opinion was so stirred concerning needy children, that many villages and towns followed the Islington example by establishing infant centres, which later became known as basic schools. The Church and other charitable or voluntary organisations sponsored many of these centres. Basic schools are community institutions in which the community establishes and sponsors them. They fall into two categories namely Recognised and Unrecognised, with the Recognised ones receiving financial assistance from the government for teachers' salary subsidy, nutrition subsidy, appliance, furniture and building grants, while the Unrecognised ones receive no financial assistance. In both cases, the schools charge fees to help pay the teachers and are supervised by the Early Childhood Unit. The basic school programme was enhanced by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation of the Netherlands, which in 1966 initiated the first early childhood project with the helpful guidance of Dudley R.B. Grant that helped to train teachers, develop a suitable curriculum and designed proper aids to make the curriculum effective. This was further enhanced by the Ministry of Education's Five Year Plan (1978-1983). Another boost for basic schools was the European Economic Development Fund, which provided accommodation for 3,000 pupils by building 28 new basic schools and upgrading 75 older structures between 1978-1983. The North Coast Project (1987-1994)...
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