Primary & Secondary Education
The Barbados Government pays the cost of education of Barbadian students at primary, secondary and some tertiary levels, this includes provision of textbooks. This strong emphasis on education has resulted in a literacy rate estimated at about 98% – one of the highest in the world.
Primary education begins at age 4 and continues until age 11, when students take the Common Entrance Examination. There are 74 Government primary schools, as well as several privately-run primary schools. They all follow the same syllabus.
Secondary education is provided for students aged 11 to 18 years. Between the ages 14 and 16, students begin to take the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examinations – the equivalent of GCE O-Levels. At about age 18, those students who continue at school can sit the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Certificate (A-Level) also set by CXC. Most Government secondary schools (of which there are 22) are co-educational. There are also several private secondary schools.
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education, Youth Affairs & Culture
Elsie Payne Complex,
Tel: (246) 430-2700
Fax: (246) 436-2411