Jamaica, A Failed State Essay

935 words - 4 pages

In August 6, 1962 Jamaica dismantled the shackles of motherhood and bade goodbye to England by proclaiming itself an independent nation. At that time the island was one of the most economically viable in the Caribbean because it was rich in natural resources such as sugar and bauxite which was in huge demand worldwide. No one would believe that with such a bright outlook for the future that Jamaica would be in this position today. To say that "Jamaica is a failed state" could easily qualify as one of the greatest understatement of the century.One only has to look at the present socio economical conditions and make comparison with that of our Caribbean neighbours to realize the potency of my argument. In 1962, Jamaica economical status was superior to those of our English-speaking neighbours following an economic boom which occurred between 1950 and 1960. Real growth rates averaging 0.1% of GDP throughout the 1990s compare poorly with rates among many of Jamaica's Caribbean neighbours, other middle-income countries and the global average. An excellent indicator of the growth of an economy is a decrease in a country's exchange rate with that of the almighty US dollar. Barbados, our Caribbean neighbours who gained independence in 1966 has produced a far more stabilized economy and this can be shown in comparing the exchange rates of both countries currency with that of the United States dollar. In 1975 Barbados's exchange rate was BDS$1.00 = US$0.50 today it is BDS$2.00 = US$1.00. In stark contrast Jamaica's exchange rate which was at JA$1.00 = US$1.20 in 1969 is presently approximately JA$65.00 = US$1.00. Sure Jamaica possess better infrastrutural facilities than Barbados but that asset has produce the intended result and I am certain that Jamaica would trade it infrastrutural superiority for Barbados's economy in the blink of an eye.The academic inadequacies of our do not argue well for our education system. The Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examination which is the yardstick that is used to measure the academic capablities of our high school student reflect poorly on Jamaica as our English and Mathematics passes consistently rank as the worst in the English-speaking Caribbean. The pass rate for English in 2003 was 25.3 per cent of the total cohort, down from 27.8 per cent last year. The pass rate for mathematics is lower than for English, 16.7 per cent this year, which is marginally better than the math's pass rate of 15.8 per cent last year. Dr. Ralph Thompson in an article contributed to the Daily Gleaner published Friday, October 3, 2003 lamented the poor CXC performance of Jamaican students in that year's examinations "The solution to Jamaica's educational crisis is this: the Government must take control of the early childhood link in the system, channelling to it...

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