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Barbados Education and Training



The school system is built on the British model and holds a high standard internationally. There is a compulsory school requirement for children between the ages of 5 and 16. Many children also attend preschool for two years before starting first grade.

The compulsory schooling is divided into two stages of six and five years respectively. As in the UK, a system of three terms is applied per year. The schooling is free of charge for citizens of the state schools. There are also private schools.

  • Allcitypopulation: Offers a list of biggest cities in the state of Barbados, including the capital city which hosts major colleges and universities.
  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Barbados, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

Almost all children go to school and almost all adults are literate.

The University of the West Indies, a collaboration between English-speaking Commonwealth countries and territories in the Caribbean, has one of its four campuses in Bridgetown. In addition, there are some state colleges and several small private institutes for post-secondary education. Previously, college studies were also free, but that changed in 2013 when costs began to become too burdensome for the state. The number of students had then more than doubled since the turn of the millennium.

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Proportion of children starting primary school

89.2 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

14 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

99.6 percent (2014)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

12.9 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

12.9 percent (2017)



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