There is a large body of writings about the history of education in Trinidad and Tobago in the form of theses written for university degrees. Published research in the form of articles in learned journals is very scarce and there are hardly any books on the subject. Recently this author published Colony and Nation: A Short History of Education in Trinidad and Tobago 1834-1986; and it was followed by The Young Colonials: A Social History of Education in Trinidad and Tobago 1834-1939. The present book (Endless Education: Main Currents in the Education System of Modern Trinidad and Tobago 1939-1986) is intended to be a follow-up to The Young Colonials. It is hoped that these three volumes will give readers a fairly comprehensive view of the general lines along which education has developed in the twin-island republic.
I have tried to include Tobago as much as possible, but it is likely that the friends of Tobago will remain dissatisfied about the amount of attention given to this island. The written historical records of Tobago are just not as ample as those for Trinidad and it is futile to expect equal attention to Tobago.
I am also aware that almost nothing has been said about the education of certain minority groups like the Chinese or Syrians. A promising section on special education was omitted at the last minute because the research was incomplete. Amazingly also this book has left out of focus (but not out of the study) a class of schools which were once talked about very much, namely intermediate schools. The author comforts himself with the thought that other researchers have been left something to do to complete the history of education in these islands.
This book has been divided into 12 chapters covering the period 1939 to 1981. This is followed by an epilogue on the short period 1981 to 1986. The book ends on the eve of the defeat of the People's National Movement (PNM) in the election of 1986. This brought to an end 30 years of continuous role (1956-1986) during which the redoubtable Dr Eric Williams was political leader from 1956 to 1981, the year of his death. The remarkably prolonged regime of the PNM, the centre of the nationalist movement in the country, is the subject of chapter five.
Chapter one commences from the ending of The Young Colonials and is intended to form an introduction to the subject. It outlines essentially the foundations of the education system and the leading ideas which underpinned it in the century after emancipation. This is not to be thought of as a century without significant change, although the fundamentals of the society remained the same.
Chapter two is intended to show how World War II affected education and how far education policy was reconstructed in new directions--as some thought it should--or continued after the war on the old lines of development. The . . .