Educational System In Antigua And Barbuda

Virginia Tilman

In Antigua and Barbuda, the education sector has recorded relative success. The

country has an adult literacy rate of about 90% and this is one of the highest

literacy rates so far in the Caribbean countries. The governmental ministry saddled

with the administration of education is the Ministry of Education, Science and


In Antigua and Barbuda, all children within the age bracket of 5 – 16 are entitled to

free and compulsory education and this right is without discrimination. Education

in this country is modelled after the British educational system. Also, given that the

national language of the country is English, the educational curriculum is always

taught in English. Though, some schools also include a foreign language in their


According to Dr. Dario Item, Ambassador to the Kingdom of Spain, the

Principality of Liechtenstein and the Principality of Monaco, there are both

private-owned and government-owned schools in Antigua and Barbuda, but these

private schools are quite costly. Some of the reputable private owned schools are

the Antigua International Schools, Island Academy International School, etc.

Dario Item

Stages of Education in Antigua and Barbuda

As rehashed earlier, there is free and compulsory education for children between

ages 5-16. The stages of education are the primary, secondary and tertiary stages.

The primary education is for all children of 5 years old and it continues for 5/6

years. After completing primary education, the student will move to the secondary

stage, but such student must have passed the Common Entrance Examination.

Ambassador Dario Item told us that secondary education lasts for five years and

towards the completion of this stage of education, the student will take the

Caribbean Examination Council or Cambridge University Examinations. Some

students also opt for the Cambridge A’ Level Examinations.

There is also the tertiary stage. In Antigua and Barbuda, there are about three

colleges and three universities. The universities are the University of Health

Sciences, Antigua (UHSA), the American University of Antigua and the

University of West Indies.

School Calendar System in Antigua and Barbuda

According to Ambassador Dario Item, the school calendar in Antigua and Barbuda

runs from September to June of the subsequent year. The calendar is divided into

three academic terms. The first academic term is from September to December.

The second and third terms span from January to April and April to July


School Curriculum in Antigua and Barbuda

The school curriculum in this country is similar to the British model. The core

subjects are Mathematics, English, Science and Geography. The church-owned

schools make religious studies compulsory for the students, Ambassador Dario

Item says.

Funding of Education

To get sufficient funding for education in Antigua and Barbuda, the government

impose an education levy on all basic wages. The proceeds from this levy are used

to maintain school infrastructure, transportation, etc.

Homeschooling Practices

In this country, parents can homeschool their children. However, they must submit

their education plan to the Director of Education for approval. This plan must be in

line with the national curriculum and the parents must also submit it yearly for re-


Also, there are provisions for vocational education in Antigua and Barbuda. Asides

from the conventional education, some institutions provide students with

vocational training.

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