The educational standard of the rank and file of the people in both groups of dependencies is very low as compared with that obtaining in the United Kingdom or the United States, although there has for many generations been a small intellectual élite, attending private schools in the area, and going on to universities in the metropolitan countries. Children from this group in the B.W.I. complete their education in the United Kingdom or Canada. Up till the time of the Spanish civil war it was customary for upper class Puerto Rican families to send their children to complete their education in Spain. After the American occupation in 1898, middle class and professional families sent their children to boarding schools and universities in the United States.
The illiteracy rate, although it is everywhere falling,1 is very____________________
|1861||68·7 per cent illiterate|
|1871||65·0 " " "|
|1881||54·3 " " "|
|1891||47·5 " " "|
|1911||37·7 " " "|
|1921||39·1 " " "|
|1943||29·3 " " "|
It may be noted, however, that the Annual Report of the Jamaican Department of Education for 1938 stated that 50 per cent of the population was then illiterate.
In Trinidad, the record in 1931 showed that 43 per cent of the population was illiterate; by 1946 the number of illiterates had fallen to 22·5. 1946 Census of Trinidad and Tobago, p. xlvi.
Puerto Rican census records are as follows:
|1899||83·2 per cent illiterate|
|1910||70·7 " " "|
|1920||59·1 " " "|
|1930||45·7 " " "|
|1935||38·5 " " "|
|1940||35·3 " " "|
The borderline between literacy and illiteracy is notoriously difficult to draw,
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Publication information: Book title: Britain and the United States in the Caribbean:A Comparative Study in Methods of Development. Contributors: Mary Proudfoot - Author. Publisher: Faber & Faber. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1954. Page number: 281.