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.
Data as of November 1987