Education System in Jamaica


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary School612  6Education is compulsory for ages 6 to 11.
SecondarySecondary School  12175CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) Examinations
Post-secondarySenior Secondary  17 2CXC Caribbean Advanced Placement Examination (CAPE)
TertiaryBachelor's    3 
TertiaryMaster's    2 
TertiaryDoctorate    3PhD

Primary Education

The 6 years of primary school education in Jamaica is compulsory and free. Children receive their instruction in English, and remain there between the ages of 6 and 12. Schools may be state-owned, or private preparatory schools.

Secondary Education

The government has embarked on a program to upgrade secondary schools. This is to meet the needs of an emerging economy that requires more advanced literacy and mathematics skills. Libraries have been restocked and computers installed with internet access. Schools are either single-sex or mixed. Many still favor the British grammar school model. When students leave secondary school their education ceases to be free.

Vocational Education

The National Training Agency oversees vocational training in Jamaica that is provided by state vocational training centers and private academies. Programs tuned to the nation's needs include agriculture, automotive skills, beauty services, clothing manufacture, commercial skills, information technology, and building and construction skills.

Tertiary Education

Jamaica EducationTertiary education is provided through five universities and a variety of community and teachers colleges, some state-owned and some privately funded. A traditional western-based curriculum is followed.


Universities include the University of the West Indies Mona Campus (illustrated here), The University of Technology, the College of Art, Science and Technology, the North Caribbean University, and the University College of the Caribbean.

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