Literacy in the English-speaking Caribbean: Some concerns, issues and considerations

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Mar/Apr. 1987

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Attention was first focused on problems of illiteracy in the Caribbean when the 1946 population census revealed that a significant proportion of the adult population was illiterate. This article uses the 1946 census as a starting point to describe and present the background to the tackling of illiteracy in the Caribbean. Some pertinent facts emerge: there is a high percentage of functionally illiterate adults between the ages of 16 to 30 years but illiteracy rates are lower among women than men. The article stresses that literacy is only one aspect of adult education and must be concerned with more than the accumulation and acquisition of knowledge and skills. Literacy programmes must awaken the critical consciousness of adults to help them understand and act within a particular socio-political context


Special Issue on Literacy

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