Education System in Bahamas
Education in the Bahamas is compulsory between ages 5 and 16 and still based on the British system in many ways. School attendance rates are high and ¾ of primary and secondary schools are state-owned. Schooling is a top priority of a government that spends up to 20% of its money on it. For the first 6 grades, children attend primary school. They must pass tests at the end of each year, in order to progress further.
From ages 11 to 18, years students attend secondary schools. These are usually functionally independent, but may be merged with primary schools on the smaller Family Islands where practical economics dictate this. Following these 6 years of largely academic education, students graduate with their Bahamas High School Diploma (since 2017). Pre-2017 students completed the 11-year Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education, GCE O Levels, or CXC Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate.
The government launched its second technical and vocational training project in 2007 as part of a long-term plan to improve the system. The first phase included policy development, strengthening the apprenticeship system, improving cost recovery and tracing previous student’s progress. Subsequent programs address skills training, tourism training, and building more muscle into the vocational preparation system itself.
There are several tertiary education opportunities available in the Bahamas themselves, and more in the wider Caribbean network. The Princess Margaret Hospital has a Nursing School, The University of the West Indies Center for Hotel and Tourism Managements provides degrees in hotel management and tourism, while the College of the Bahamas illustrated here offers bachelor and associate degrees.
Elsewhere, branches of American universities teach their undergraduate students over weekends.