Education System in Barbados


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School  5116Compulsory
SecondaryCSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) Examinations  11165Compulsory
Post-secondaryCXC Caribbean Advanced Placement Examination (CAPE)  17 2 
TertiaryBachelor's    2 
TertiaryMaster's    1 
TertiaryDoctorate    2 

Primary Education

The school education system in Barbados adheres closely to British norms, and is paid for by the government right though tertiary levels too. The nation enjoys a literacy level in excess of 98% thanks to the emphasis the state places on this. The 6 years of primary school education begin at age 4. At age 11, the children write their common entrance examination in order to qualify for secondary school.

Secondary Education

Secondary school follows through to age 18, although it becomes non-compulsory 2 years earlier. At that point students write their caribbean examination council examinations similar to gce o-level. Those who remain on for their final 2 years may write the Caribbean advanced proficiency certificate that leads on to opportunities for tertiary education.

Vocational Education

The Barbados vocational board provides skills both to employed and unemployed persons. These range from short courses through to 5 year apprenticeships in all disciplines.

Tertiary Education

Barbados EducationThere are no universities per se in the Barbados. There is however a Branch of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, the Barbados Community College, a Teacher’s Training Institute, and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic illustrated here.


The latter is named after the first person of African descent to be elected to the Barbados Parliament, and who was later named the right excellent.


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