Saint Helena (island)
|Official Country Name:||Saint Helena|
The island of Saint Helena is 1,200 miles from the southwest cost of Africa in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The educational system there follows that of the United Kingdom, as the island is a British Dependent Territory. The academic year is broken up into three terms, and the primary language of instruction is English. Education is free and mandatory for children between the ages of 5 and 15. Students between the ages of five and eight attend one of the St. Helena four primary schools: Half Tree Hollow First School, Jamestown First School, Longwood First School, and St. Paul's First School. Three middle schools—Harford Middle School, Pilling Middle School, and St. Paul's Middle School—offer additional primary education to students ranging from 8 to 12 years of age. The island's sole secondary school, The Prince Andrew Central School, offers secondary education to 12- to 16-year-old students.
While each school is equipped with its own education materials, including textbooks, more specialized resources are shared among the schools. Limited vocational training for teachers is available from teaching specialists within the island's communities, as well as from guest teacher trainers. Most of St. Helena's teachers are residents of the island. Formal higher education is not offered on St. Helena; however, various scholarships to colleges, universities, and vocational schools in the United Kingdom are available to qualified students under programs such as the Training and Work Experience Schemes.
Britannica.com. Saint Helena. 2001. Available from http://www.britannica.com.
Cheltenham & Gloucester College of Higher Education. St. Helena Education. 2001. Available from http://www.chelt.ac.uk/.
—AnnaMarie L. Sheldon
|B asic D ata|
|Official Country Name:||Saint Helena|
|Region (Map name):||Africa|
Saint Helena, a group of islands in the South Atlantic Ocean midway between South America and Africa, was uninhabited when they were discovered by the Portuguese in 1502. Its most notorious resident was Napoleon Bonaparte, who was exiled there from 1815 until his death in 1821. Today, it is known for much tamer reasons: one of its islands is the site of a United States Air Force auxiliary airfield and serves as a breeding ground for sea turtles and sooty terns, and the area harbors at least 40 species of plants unknown anywhere else in the world. The official language is English. The population is approximately 7,000, and the literacy rate is 97 percent. The chief of state is the British monarch, and the head of government is a Governor and Commander in Chief, who is appointed by the monarch. There is a 15-seat unicameral Legislative Council. The economy depends largely on financial assistance from Britain—there are few jobs in the islands—but fishing, handicrafts and cattle also play important roles.
The media in St. Helena enjoys freedom of press and speech. The country's only major newspaper is the English-language weekly the St. Helena Herald, which appears on Fridays in print and online. It replaced the government-sponsored weekly St. Helena News in June 2001.
There is one radio station, which is AM, for 3,000 radios. There are 2,000 televisions in the country, but no local television stations. There is one Internet service provider.
"Annual Survey of Freedom Related Territory Scores," Freedom House (2000). Available from http:// www.freedomhouse.org.
"Country Profile," Worldinformation.com (2002 ). Available from http://www.worldinformation.com.
"St. Helena Herald," St. Helena News Media (2002). Availabl from http://www.news.co.sh.
Jenny B. Davis
Saint Helena (həlē´nə), island, 47 sq mi (122 sq km), in the S Atlantic Ocean, 1,200 mi (1,931 km) W of Africa. Together with the islands of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, it comprises the British overseas territory of St. Helena (2005 est. pop. 7,500). The capital and port is Jamestown. Mountainous and of volcanic origin, the island rises to a height of 2,685 ft (818 m) on Mt. Actaeon. About half the people are of African descent, while a quarter each are of European or Chinese background. The population is mainly Christian and English-speaking. The economy depends largely on support from Great Britain; livestock are raised and there is a fishing industry. Saint Helena is governed by the constitution of 1989. It has a unicameral 16-seat Legislative Council, whose members are elected by popular vote for four-year terms. The monarch of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, represented by a governor, is the head of state; the governor is the head of government. Saint Helena is divided into one administrative area and two dependencies.
Discovered uninhabited by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova Castella in 1502, St. Helena was annexed by the Dutch in 1633. In 1659 it was annexed and occupied by the British East India Company, and in 1834 it became a British crown colony. The island served as a prison for Boers (Afrikaners) from 1900 to 1902 during the South African War. St. Helena is best known as the place of exile of Napoleon I, who was sent there in 1815 and who died at Longwood, near Jamestown, in 1821. His home is maintained as a memorial.
J. A. Cannon