Manning's School in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland, Jamaica, which started offering classes in 1738, is the oldest continuous operating high school in Jamaica. The school's motto is rendered in latin "Vita sine litteris mors est " its english translation being "Life without learning is death."

Manning's School
Thomas Manning Building
Beckford St.

Western region

Coordinates18°13′36″N 78°07′58″W / 18.22667°N 78.13278°W / 18.22667; -78.13278
TypePublic school (government funded)
MottoVita sine litteris mors est
(Life without learning is death)
Religious affiliation(s)Anglican
Established1738; 286 years ago (1738)
FounderThomas Manning (bequest)
School code10055[1]
PrincipalSteve Gordon
Years offered713
Age range10-19
Enrolment1,686[1] (2018)
Student to teacher ratio17:1
Colour(s)   Dark blue and light blue
SongDear Mannings School [Played to the tune of "The Londonderry Air"].
SportsTrack and field, Football, Volleyball, Badminton, Table Tennis, Swimming, Netball, Basketball, Chess

There is often debate whether Manning's or Wolmer's Trust School for Boys, one of the Wolmer's Schools[2] is the oldest in Jamaica or the oldest continuous operating high school in Jamaica. Thomas Manning (who bequeathed the land and initial funding for Manning's in 1710 ) did so before John Wolmer (who's will at his death, provided for the monies to fund Wolmer's in 1729). Manning's continued without ceasing since its doors were first opened, whilst Wolmer's record provides that for two years (1755-1757)[3] its doors were closed.

History edit

The history of the Manning's School dates back to a quarter of a century before the actual establishment of the institution, when in 1710, Thomas Manning, a Westmoreland planter, bequeathed a gift of land for the setting up of a free school in the parish of Westmoreland. The school was established in 1738 when the Jamaica Assembly passed an Act (11 Geo. II c. 9), after which the Free School was formally set up.[4][5][2]

In the 18th century, these schools originated from their benefactors’ concerns for the education of the country's poor, usually the children of poor whites, as there was no system in place for the education of the children of slaves.[2]

As the years progressed, the 20th Century led to the reorganization of the institution into a modern high school.[6]

Academics edit

School Profile[1]
Year Enrollment Student-Teacher
2018 1,686 17:1
2017 1,754 20:1
2016 1,717 20:1
2015 1,729 19:1
2014 1,743 19:1
2013 1,765 19:1
2012 1,754 19:1

Historic buildings edit

The oldest existing part of the school which was built in the early 20th Century is known as the Thomas Manning Building, named in honour of the school's founder. It is the most outstanding building on the entire school property and is currently used as a library and classrooms. The building, an example of Georgian architecture, was declared a National Heritage site by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust in 1999.[7]

Notable alumni edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c "Ministry of Education, Youth & Information School Profiles 2018-2019". Ministry of Education, Jamaica. 12 October 2015. p. 25. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "5 Oldest High Schools In Jamaica". The Jamaica Gleaner. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Wolmer's High School for Boys". Retrieved 14 March 2022.
  4. ^ "Manning's School in Westmoreland". Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  5. ^ "The Laws of Jamaica (1681-1759)". p. 260. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  6. ^ "Westmoreland Heritage Sites". Jamaica Information Service. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  7. ^ "List of National Monuments". Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Mr. Bulgin upholds the law". Cayman Compass. 26 July 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2021.