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Constitutional & Legal Foundations

Barbados was established as an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations on November 30, 1966. It has a parliamentary form of democracy based on the Westminster model. The British monarch is officially head of state and is represented by a governor general with limited power. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, comprised of a 27-member elected House of Assembly, a 21-member appointed Upper House or Senate, and the Governor General. Executive power is vested in the Cabinet, comprised of the Prime Minister and other Ministers of Government. The general direction and control of the government rests with the Cabinet, which is collectively responsible to Parliament. The Barbados Parliament is the third oldest in the world with 358 years of an uninterrupted parliamentary system of government.

The government holds the view that the development of Barbados is dependent upon the quality of its educational system; in the Government of Barbados Development Plan, 1988-1993, is a statement of its commitment to "the development of an educational system that enables all persons to realize their talents to the fullest extent possible."

There are three political parties in Barbados, all of which place great emphasis on educational development. The Barbados Labour Party (BLP) is one of Barbados' oldest leading parties and currently the ruling party; it was in power in 1950 when universal adult suffrage became the law.

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Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceBarbados - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education