|Caribbean Islands Table of Contents
In the British Virgin Islands, education was free and compulsory to the age of fourteen. In the late 1980s, primary education was provided in twenty-five schools--sixteen government and nine private. Primary-school enrollment in 1983 was 2,093. There were four high schools with a total student population of 1,013; these provided vocational as well as general training. In 1970 only 1.7 percent of the adult population had received no schooling. This high rate of school attendance was reflected in the islanders' high literacy rate, which in 1984 stood at 98.3 percent. Few British Virgin Islanders had postsecondary schooling, however. In 1984 only 5.4 percent of the population over the age of 24 had any postsecondary education.
On both Anguilla and Montserrat, education was free and compulsory between the ages of five and fourteen. Anguilla had a primary-school enrollment of 2,068 students in 1983 and a secondary-school enrollment in 1982 of 473 students. The government operated six primary schools and one secondary school. The literacy rate among Anguillians was estimated at 80 percent. Like the British Virgin Islanders, few Anguillians had a postsecondary education. In 1982 only 2.9 percent of the population over the age of 25 had had any higher education.
Montserrat's primary-school enrollment in 1981 was 1,725 students. Primary education was provided by twelve government schools, two government-aided denominational schools, and two private schools. Montserrat had a secondary school, plus two junior secondary schools for children aged twelve to fifteen who failed to pass the examination for entry into the regular secondary school. In 1981 there were 871 students enrolled in these schools. Montserrat's literacy rate was estimated at 77 percent.
Montserrat had a small technical college. The existence of the junior schools and the technical college reflected the importance the government placed on technical, vocational, and business training. Implementation of this policy, however, was hampered by a shortage of qualified instructors. The percentage of the population with higher education was low, amounting to only 2.7 percent of those over the age of 25.
The College of the Virgin Islands, located in the British Virgin Islands, was the only four-year institution of higher learning in the three territories. The University of the West Indies (UWI) had Extra-Mural Departments with resident tutors in each territory. Students could also opt to attend the UWI at its three campuses, in Mona, Jamaica; Cave Hill, Barbados; and St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. Students also attended universities in Britain, Canada, the continental United States, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.
Source: U.S. Library of Congress