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Antigua and Barbuda: Education
Country Study > Chapter 3 > The Society and Its Environment > Education


The education system in Antigua and Barbuda followed the British pattern and included public and private schools. Preprimary school was available for children from ages three to six. Primary education, compulsory for all children up to age twelve, was provided for five or six years. Secondary education, lasting four or five years, was offered upon the successful completion of a qualifying examination; private schools had their own qualifying examinations, while public schools used a standard test.

Postsecondary education was offered at the Antigua State College and at the local branch campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI). The Antigua State College offered a two-year program in five departments: teacher training, the advanced level in general education, commercial, engineering, and hotel and catering. Upon completion of the program, students took exams to earn certificates from external institutions, such as the UWI, Cambridge University, and the Royal Arts Society of London. Students attending the local branch campus of the UWI completed one year of studies and then continued their studies at another campus in Jamaica, Trinidad, or Barbados.

The 90-percent literacy rate indicated that the education system was reasonably successful in imparting basic skills. Despite this achievement, substantial problems remained in the late 1980s. Educational supplies and facilities were inadequate; in addition, there existed a high percentage of untrained teachers at all levels. These instructional deficiencies contributed to a national shortage of skilled labor.

In the 1980-81 school year, primary-school enrollment was 10,211 students, 78 percent of whom were in public schools. Of a total of 436 primary-school teachers, 82 percent were in the public system. Secondary schools had a total of 5,687 students and 321 teachers; 66 percent of the students and 71 percent of the teachers were in the public system. The state college consisted of 329 students; although most were from Antigua and Barbuda, some students also came from Anguilla, the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Montserrat. The two special education schools had a combined enrollment of thirty-seven students, instructed by thirteen teachers.

Data as of November 1987

Last Updated: November 1987

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Antigua and Barbuda was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

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Section 29 of 62


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