Mr. Edwin Allen was born in Brandon Hill in St. Andrew on April 17, 1905.
He first entered the world of work in 1927 as a classroom teacher and remained in that field for 22 years where he made invaluable contributions to the profession. Mr. Allen entered politics in 1950 as the Member of Parliament (MP) for Clarendon Northwest and remained in this seat until 1983, despite losing the elections of 1959 and 1976.
During his first stint as Minister of Education and Social Welfare in 1953 -1955, Allen was responsible for the experiment of senior students in the senior schools doing secondary subjects. This was so successful that one graduate went on to gain a degree at the University of the West Indies and win a Rhodes Scholarship.
He was a member of the Legislative Council (now the Senate) from 1959 to 1962. Following this, Mr. Allen spent 10 years, from 1962 to 1972, as Minister of Education under the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) administration. During his tenure 108 new primary schools were built or started and he was able to develop a programme with the World Bank which led to the building of 50 Junior Secondary schools. He secured funding for the construction of the Sam Sharpe Teacher’s College and the expansion of the College of Arts, Science and Technology (now the University of Technology).
In 1984, Allen was posthumously conferred with Jamaica’s fourth highest national award, the Order of Jamaica and the Frankfield Comprehensive High School in Clarendon was renamed in his honour.