20 de Julio de 2018
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La Educación
Número: (123-125) I,III
Año: 1996

Primary Education

Early attempts at reform were made with the Board of Education’s introduction of a uniform curriculum in 1945 with a simpler variation used in small rural schools. However, in the Education Report of 1949 it was noted that:
the uniform curriculum [did] not take into account the wide range of variation in three essential factors: (1) the social, economic and cultural background of the pupils; (2) the general ability, training and educational standards of the teacher; and (3) the special interests and abilities of the teacher. Uniformity in the prescribed schemes of work [led] children in the Maya villages to study material which [was] of little value to them; it also put pressure on teachers to tackle subjects which they [were] poorly qualified by knowledge or interest to teach; and with any degree of uniformity in the amount of ground to be covered, the weaker teachers and the more backward schools [tried] to cover the whole program, and [did] it badly. (Section 2, 45)
Other attempts to make education relevant and accessible to all were made with recommendations and/or changes that included the development of a curriculum for schools with a large Indian population, the use of West Indian texts, encouragement of the use of the vernacular, and the inclusion of “environmental studies” in the curriculum (1949 Education Report).

Many of the early attempts at educational reform were stifled by financial constraints and the fact that the local government was not in full control of the affairs of the country.