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La Educación
Número: (116) III
Año: 1993


Since the early 1970s, Caribbean economies have been subject to a high degree of instability stemming from both external and domestic sources. Some of these countries have had to undertake macroeconomic adjustment programs under the supervision of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB). Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Grenada and Dominica have had to seek IMF-WB assistance to help overcome their economic difficulties.

This paper examines the impact which these macroeconomic adjustment programs have had on the educational system in the Caribbean. Macroeconomic policy measures, such as devaluation, reduced government expenditure, increased taxation and interest rates, the introduction of user fees, and wage restraint, are expected to affect the education sector both directly and indirectly.

The plan of the paper is as follows: In part I, the nature of structural adjustment policies adopted by Caribbean countries is examined. This section first outlines the nature of structural adjustment and then looks at the Caribbean experience. In part II, the effect of structural adjustment policies on the educational system is analyzed.

The concluding part looks at lessons that can be learned from the structural adjustment process especially in relation to the educational system. Recommendations are made with respect to ways in which those involved in the educational system can mitigate the adverse effects of structural adjustment policies.