Reporter 464, 26 March 2001

Jamaican education

Jamaica provides the context for education lecturer Tony Sewell’s next project, looking at educational underachievement amongst boys, and whether the way they construct their identities, and masculinity, might affect their schooling.

Dr Sewell hopes to determine whether styles of parenting, kinship groups and wider models of masculinity and matriarchy can be seen to correlate to the level of achievement in school.

The project relates to work Dr Sewell has carried out in Britain, linking black underachievement to peer-group pressure and motivational skills, as well as to racism.

"It is ironic that I am coming from the schools exclusion capital of the world, to try and improve the situation in Jamaica," said Dr Sewell. "Jamaica already has programmes working to motivate boys. Jamaica has much to teach Britain – and I think I can still help Jamaica."

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