Education System of Barbados
Barbados is a beautiful island country in the Caribbean where live-work-play seems to be the motto. The people are basically easy going but industrious and hard-working. Like many other countries Barbados was a British Colony. It gained independence under commonwealth nation norms in the year 1966. The climatic condition of the country is a major plus. It is for this reason that the country is a great tourist hub. It is very popular for leisure tourism in the area. In fact tourism contributes a significant part to its GDP. This also makes it one of the better-developed nations in the region.
The present system of functioning of various institutions in the country is based on the British model. It is noteworthy to mention that the education system, which is based on the British model, have succeeded in producing one of the highest standards of education. The literacy rate is almost 100%, vetted by both UNESCO and the ministry of Education of the country. It is also a worthy feat that Barbados is in the top 5 countries for literacy rate in the world. This elevates the country among top industrialized nations in the world.
School Education SystemSchool education starts at pre primary stage and continues till secondary stages. The schools constitutes of pre primary and primary stages. There are quite a few good schools in which the medium of instruction in English with English textbooks and syllabus.
There are many public primary schools and a large number of private schools as per Ministry of Education Barbados. Also there are many secondary schools in the country. In addition, there are also Assisted Private Secondary Schools providing secondary education to students. These are secular schools and teach students of all groups. It is mandatory for all young people to attain education till the age of sixteen. The state is very keen on imparting education to its young citizens in the most modern and scientific manner. Thus it ensures vigils at various levels of the educational system.
Pre-Primary EducationPre-primary education is parted through infant and nursery system. There are a few nursery and infant schools, less in number but they provide sufficient landing for a student to enroll in the primary schools.
Primary EducationPrimary education is provided to the students in the age group of 3 plus and 11 plus. A number of private and secondary schools provide primary and secondary education in tandem.
Secondary EducationSecondary education is imparted between 10 plus and 16 plus of age. Admission to secondary schools is on the basis of performance in the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination and parental choice in this regard.
The main subjects taught at the Primary and Secondary level are - English Language, English Literature, Spanish, Religious and Moral Education, Computer Education, Mathematics, Science, Art and Craft, Music, History, Geography, Social Studies, Health and Family Life Education, Physical Education, Agriculture.
Vocational EducationThe Barbados vocational board provides skills both to employed and unemployed persons. These range from short courses through to 5 year apprenticeships in all disciplines.
Higher EducationThe higher education system leads students to vocational and professional colleges and University of West Indies. Few noteworthy institutes are Barbados Community College, Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic, Erdiston Teacher’s College, University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
All throughout, the language of Instruction is English. The syllabus and study materials are also in English. The students of Barbados educational system are quite conversant with the English medium.
There are a various scholarships, awards available for students who wish to pursue tertiary education which comes under The Higher Education Awards Unit.
Private EducationPrivate education forms a small part of education system in Barbados. There are only few privately administered nursery/primary schools and secondary schools. At tertiary level there are some privately owned institutions proving technical and vocational education.