Caribbean Islands Table of Contents

Education in the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands was compulsory for children between the ages of five and sixteen and free of charge in government schools. The Cayman Islands had nine government-run primary schools, three state secondary schools, and six church-sponsored schools at both levels. The Turks and Caicos had fourteen government primary schools, three private primary schools, and three public secondary schools. Years of inadequate funding left the Turks and Caicos Islands with poor schools, making later job training a necessity. Although some fishermen in these islands were retrained as construction workers and others found jobs in the hotels, more retraining was essential. The territory had a chronic shortage of skilled workers.

There were two senior education institutions on the Cayman Islands: the Cayman International College and the Cayman Law School. In addition, the Cayman government contributed to the University of the West Indies (UWI). Both the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands offered a number of government scholarships for students who wished to attend the UWI or colleges or universities in Britain, Canada, or the United States.

Literacy for Caymanians above the age of 15 stood at 97.5 percent in 1986. In 1986 the ratio of elementary school students to teachers was a relatively low 14.3 to 1. The elementary school enrollment that year was 2,077, with an additional 2,265 students in secondary schools. Only 2.9 percent of the population over age 25 had postsecondary education.

Literacy for Turks and Caicos citizens over age 15 was 86.7 percent in 1985. The 1985 ratio of elementary school students to teachers was 20.8 to 1. In 1985 approximately 1,540 students attended elementary schools, and 707 attended secondary schools. Although overall literacy was lower than in the Cayman Islands, a higher percentage of the population over 25 years of age--4.9 percent--had postsecondary education.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress