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Barbados – Education and Schools

Barbados is a small island nation in the Caribbean with a well-established education system. The country places a strong emphasis on providing its citizens with a quality education, with significant investments in teacher training, facilities, and curricula. In this article, we’ll discuss the quality of education in Barbados, 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 Barbados

The quality of education in Barbados is generally high, with a strong emphasis on academic excellence and vocational skills. The country has a well-developed education system that includes both public and private schools, as well as vocational and higher education institutions. Barbados is also home to several international schools, providing options for expatriate and foreign students.

Compulsory Education in Barbados

In Barbados, 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 Barbados

There are several types of schools available in Barbados, 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 creative and performing arts.


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Secondary Education

Secondary education is available for all students between the ages of eleven and sixteen. The curriculum includes English language, mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, and creative and performing arts. In addition, students are required to choose a technical or vocational subject.

Syllabus and Qualifications

Barbadian 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. Barbadian schools offer several qualifications, including the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination, the Caribbean Examinations Council, and the International Baccalaureate.

School Hours and Holidays

Barbadian schools typically start at 8:30 am and end at 3:00 pm, with a lunch break in between. Schools are closed on weekends and for several holidays throughout the year, including Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter Monday.

Enrollment Requirements and Competition

To enroll in a school in Barbados, 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 Barbadian schools can be competitive, particularly in urban areas where there are more students than spaces available. In some cases, students may need to pass an entrance exam or meet other academic requirements.

International Schools

Barbados has several 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 Barbados include:

  • Codrington International School
  • The American International School of Barbados
  • The International School of Barbados

Higher Education in Barbados

Barbados has several higher education institutions, including the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, and Barbados Community College. The country also has several scholarship and funding opportunities to support students who wish to pursue higher education.

Education in Barbados provides students with a strong foundation in academic and vocational skills. The country places a strong emphasis on providing its citizens with a quality education, with significant investments in teacher training, facilities, and curricula.


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