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.
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
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.
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