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A Brief History

The Lady Mico Trust, beginning in 1836, established four teacher training institutions and hundreds of elementary schools in the British Colonies in the West Indies, Mauritius and Seychelles. This followed the successful efforts of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton to direct the resources of the Trust to the education of the children of the ex-slaves in these British Colonies (in the West Indies, Mauritius and Seychelles) where slavery was in the process of being abolished. In an era where denominational education was the norm, the defining feature of the Mico institutions was that they were of Christian influence but non-denominational.


The Negro Education Grant which was provided by the British Parliament ended in 1846. As a result, most of The Mico elementary schools, except those in St Lucia, did not survive. Those that survived were overtaken by the twin forces of denominational education and the entry of the Government of Colonies into providing elementary education. The elementary schools in St Lucia survived the longest until the 1890s.

The only teacher training institution to survive into the 20th Century, and that remains until today, is The Mico University College, in Kingston, Jamaica.  Its founding in 1836 makes it the oldest teacher training college in the Western Hemisphere, and one of the oldest in the world, rivalling the famed Battersea College in England, established in 1817.

The survival of The Mico College in Kingston is rooted in four characteristics


of the institution.

  • First, remaining true to its character as a Christian but non-denominational institution.
  • Second, its capacity to respond to the changing developmental needs of the Jamaican and Caribbean society.
  • Third, its ability to attract able and ambitious students and to provide them with high quality education.
  • Fourth, the performance of The Mico graduates in society. Read More