The Grenada revolution that occurred between 1979 to 1983 was a transformational period in terms of the social and economic development of Grenada. Several of the establishments that were started during the revolutionary period have remained as part of Grenada's society today.
Here is the breakdown of several of the achievements made during the revolutionary period:
Cost of living reduction
The People's Revolutionary Government (PRG) put a freeze on food prices which lowered the cost of living for Grenadians. Price controls were placed on food items to stop the further increase in food prices. This was very beneficial for the working-class people, and the group of agricultural workers who made up the majority of the working-class population.
There was increased agricultural production especially in non-traditional areas. There was the rehabilitation of cocoa, and the increase in livestock production. Extension services for agriculture were started which helped to support farmers. The PRG believed in the "eat local" and that Grenada should be self-sufficient in food production.
There was the establishment of the National Importing Board (NIB) which later became the Marketing and National Importing Board (MNIB). The intention of the board was to serve the local farmers and to seek export markets for local produce. The Board was also responsible for controlling sugar importation (brown and white sugar) as a means of controlling the price of sugar commodity.
Hundreds of young Grenadians obtained the opportunity to further their education through scholarships to study overseas. Young men and women received scholarships to study in Cuba, and were able to pursue studies in medicine, engineering and other technical areas.
There were teacher training programs which served to uplift the quality of schoolteachers within the education system. The National In-Service Teacher education Program (NISTEP) upgraded teachers, an average of 45 teachers per year. Teachers were trained for three years in collaboration with the University of the West Indies.
School fees were eliminated so that education was made free at the secondary school level.
Literacy was improved through adult education programs that provided for adults to improve their literacy skills. This served to improve the literacy rates in Grenada.
Health care improvement
Free medical and dental care were provided at all government clinics and hospitals. Cuban medical practitioners also provided support to health care on the island.
Skills training for women
Efforts were made to upskill women in areas such as sewing and dress making. Facilities were opened as sewing and dress making centers to employ women. Alongside skill training, day care centers were opened to support more women joining the labour force.
Introduction of Planning
Under Bernard Coard as minister responsible for planning, there was the introduction of coordinated planning, and ministries had to submit annual plans. There was also the establishment of the Physical Planning Unit (PPU) which remains today responsible for physical planning of infrastructure development in Grenada.
There was the start of the National Transport Service (NTS) which provided public transportation to Grenadians.
Construction started on the first international airport in Grenada - the Point Salines International Airport (later renamed Maurice Bishop International Airport). The airport was opened in 1984 after the end of the revolution. Construction was supported by the Cuban government under Fidel Castro.
Social security benefits
There was the set-up of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS) that provided social security benefits for working people such as maternity benefits, sick leave benefits, and pension benefits.
Community groups were formed to build a sense of community, and to complete community-based initiatives. There was the establishment of Parish Coordinating Bodies that mobilized villages and parishes through village and zonal councils to deal with local and national issues.
A house repair program was started to repair the homes of hundreds of Grenadians across the island.
Quote by Prime Minister of the PRG Maurice Bishop:
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