Beth Robertson “A Comparison of Dominica and Anguilla and their Recovery of Primary Education following the 2017 Hurricane Season”

In Students by Debbie Curtis

  • Newcastle University
  • Human Geography

In 2017, Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma brought immense devastation and death to the Caribbean, being labelled as one of the worst hurricane seasons on record. My PhD compares the recovery of education on the islands of Dominica and Anguilla, which share similar colonial histories and risk factors but different demographics and political contexts. This research will be carried out in collaboration with the UNICEF Office for the Eastern Caribbean and Anguilla’s Ministry of Social Development; collaboration is key to this research and it aims to bring together several non-governmental and governmental agencies working in the area .

I have a BA in Geography and a MA in Human Geography Research from Newcastle University. I was the recipient of both the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Postgraduate Excellence Scholarship and the The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology Scholarship for Postgraduate Study. I am passionate about using postcolonial and feminist geographies to understand and investigate the importance of education and the extent to which it is accessible and high quality. I have undertook several trips to Tanzania to complete overseas field work, working predominantly with the Maasai and Chagga people. As a result, I achieved a distinction in my masters dissertation entitled ‘Neocolonialism, Ethnicity, and the Private/Public Split in Primary Education in the Kilimanjaro Region, Tanzania’.

I have worked in education settings in Newcastle, Thailand and Namibia. I have also worked for a social integration charity on behalf of the Department for Education. I was part of a team that piloted a change in vocational education for 16-19 year old students, testing out the newly proposed ‘T-Level’. I led on advocating inclusion and proposing ways that the T Level and industry-related work placements could assist employers with diversity and equality initiatives. I partnered with various organisations to generate work placements, predominantly working alongside the NHS.