Commonwealth of The Bahamas




A good educational system is the foundation of any country. More significantly it is an important factor in the development of World countries. However, this progress requires the cooperation of people with different abilities, different experiences and specialized training, working together to produce a dynamic system which could be improved upon over a period of time.


The history of formal education in The Bahamas dates back to early times. Education was spearheaded by the Church in the Bahamas. The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (an Anglican missionary group) pioneered Bahamian education from 1722 but since 1746 the government assisted by paying teachers' salaries. The Baptists and Methodist were most instrumental in educating blacks from about 1800. Anglican, Methodist, Baptist and Catholic-run schools continue their tremendous contributions to Bahamian education even today but the government has also played a prominent role from the beginning.


Shortly after emancipation the Education Act of 1836, established a Board of Education to administer all schools in the colony. A later act, passed in 1878, made primary education compulsory. Secondary education was dominated by religious institutions until the establishment of the Government High School in 1925.


As the country developed further, the need for more institutions of higher learning grew. A teachers' college was opened in 1964 and the government's White Paper on Education published in 1972 outlined future plans for the new nation. These included the extension of public secondary education to the Family Islands; and the establishment of a College of the Bahamas by and Act of Parliament, 1974. The latest thrust in Bahamian education being the initiation of a public pre-school program in the late 1980s.


Although a number of people have written on the History of Bahamian education, very few if any at all, have focused on people who contributed to the development of the educational system. This web site is an attempt to highlight some of the "unsung heroes" who have done much to promote and establish education in The Bahamas.




Alfred Francis Adderley

Preston Hilton Albury

Robert Melville Bailey

Naomi Richardson Blatch

Livingston N. Coakley

Christopher Columbus

Emma E. Cooper

Donald Webster Davis

Stephen Albert Dillet

Carlton Francis

Timothy Gibson

Percy Alexander Gibson

Theodore Grant Glover

William Gordon

Uriah McPhee

Samuel Conrad McPherson

Nelson Glanville MacFarlane Major

Harold Otis Nash

David Willard Patton

Cleveland Harrington Reeves

Enoch Pedro Roberts

Woodes Rogers

Robert Sandilands

William Sayle

Charles Walpole Sawyer

James Carmichael Smyth

Charles Cecil Sweeting

Thomas Alvin Thompson

Claudius Roland Walker

Mabel Cordelia Walker

William John Woodcock

Leon Walton Young



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Department of Archives, P.O. Box SS-6341, Nassau, N.P., Bahamas. TEL: (242) 393-2175/393-2855. FAX: (242) 393-2855

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