EDUCATION IN BARBADOS
Barbados had one of the oldest and most advanced education systems in the Eastern Caribbean in the late 1980s. Education dated back to 1686, when private funds were used to build the first school. Throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, education was controlled by the Anglicans, who were later joined by other religious groups. By 1962 education was free for all nationals and administered primarily by the state. This trend continued, so that by 1984 only 4 percent of the primary and secondary schools were managed by churches. Barbados' longstanding emphasis on education was evident in the values and goals of contemporary society. Education has traditionally been associated with success and upward mobility. In 1970 Barbados officially claimed to have achieved a 99-percent literacy rate, a figure that was questioned by some observers. Despite these doubts, observers generally agreed that in the 1980s literacy in Barbados exceeded the rates of other Caribbean societies. In 1984 Barbados had 126 primary schools, 110 of which were administered by the state. Approximately 1,350 teachers were available to instruct the 35,000 students. There were sixty-four secondary schools, five of which prepared students for technical careers. A total of 6,000 students attended secondary-school programs. Postsecondary education consisted of seven institutions that awarded degrees or certificates. Four schools offered specific vocational training: the Barbados Institute of Management and Productivity, the Erdiston Teacher's Training College, the Tercentenary School of Nursing, and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytecnic. Academic programs at the university level were conducted at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Barbados Community College, which offered vocational and technical classes as well. The UWI also included Codrington College, a local theological seminary. In 1979 the government created the Skills...
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