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Antigua and Barbuda – Education and Schools

Antigua and Barbuda is a small island nation located in the Caribbean Sea, known for its beautiful beaches and warm climate. Despite its small size, Antigua and Barbuda has a well-respected education system that provides students with a solid foundation in academic and vocational skills. In this article, we’ll discuss the quality of education in Antigua and Barbuda, the age ranges for compulsory education, the types of schools available, the syllabus and qualifications offered, typical school hours and holidays, enrollment requirements, international schools, and options for higher education.

Quality of Education in Antigua and Barbuda

The quality of education in Antigua and Barbuda has been improving in recent years, with a focus on increasing access to education and improving the quality of teaching. The government has made significant investments in education, including the construction of new schools and the provision of free textbooks to students.

Compulsory Education in Antigua and Barbuda

In Antigua and Barbuda, education is compulsory for all children between the ages of five and sixteen. The education system is divided into two levels: primary education and secondary education.

Types of Schools in Antigua and Barbuda

There are several types of schools available in Antigua and Barbuda, catering to different age ranges and academic levels.

Primary Education

Primary education is mandatory for all children between the ages of five and eleven. The curriculum includes English language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and music.


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Secondary Education

Secondary education is divided into two levels: lower secondary and upper secondary.

Lower Secondary

Lower secondary is mandatory for all students between the ages of eleven and fourteen. The curriculum includes English language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, music, and a foreign language.

Upper Secondary

Upper secondary is optional and prepares students for further education or employment. It is divided into two streams: academic and vocational.

Academic Stream

The academic stream prepares students for university. The curriculum includes English language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, music, a foreign language, and subjects of the student’s choice.

Vocational Stream

The vocational stream prepares students for employment in specific industries, such as hospitality, tourism, and construction. The curriculum includes English language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, music, and vocational subjects.

Syllabus and Qualifications

Antiguan and Barbudan schools follow a national curriculum that is set by the Ministry of Education. The curriculum is standardized across the country, and all schools are required to adhere to it. Antiguan and Barbudan schools offer several qualifications, including the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate

The Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate is an exam taken by students at the end of lower secondary. It tests students’ knowledge of several subjects, including English language, mathematics, science, social studies, and foreign languages.

Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination

The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination is an exam taken by students at the end of upper secondary. It tests students’ knowledge of several subjects, including English language, mathematics, science, social studies, and vocational subjects. The Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination is a prerequisite for admission to universities in the Caribbean and other countries.

School Hours and Holidays

Antiguan and Barbudan schools typically start at 8:00 am and end at 2:00 pm, with a lunch break in the middle of the day. Schools are closed on weekends and for several holidays throughout the year, including Christmas, Easter, and national holidays.

Enrollment Requirements and Competition

To enroll in a school in Antigua and Barbuda, you’ll need to provide several documents, including proof of identity, proof of residence, and vaccination records. If you’re an international student, you may also need to provide a visa and proof of health insurance.

Enrollment in Antiguan and Barbudan schools is generally not competitive, as there are more spaces available than there are students. However, some schools may require students to pass an entrance exam or meet other academic requirements.

International Schools

Antigua and Barbuda has a few international schools that cater to expatriate and foreign students. These schools offer curricula and qualifications from other countries, such as the International Baccalaureate or the British A-levels. Some popular international schools in Antigua and Barbuda include:

  • Island Academy International School
  • Cedar Valley International School
  • St. John’s International School

Higher Education in Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda does not have its own universities, but students can attend universities in other Caribbean countries or the United States. The government has established scholarship programs to support students who wish to pursue higher education abroad.

Education in Antigua and Barbuda provides students with a solid foundation in academic and vocational skills. The government has made significant investments in education, including the construction of new schools and the provision of free textbooks to students. Enrollment in Antiguan and Barbudan schools is generally not competitive, and international schools provide options for expatriate and foreign students. While Antigua and Barbuda does not have its own universities, students can attend universities in other Caribbean countries or the United States, with government support available.


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