Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda's literacy rate is about 90 percent, one of the highest in the Eastern Caribbean. The non-discriminatory educational system is funded by the state at all levels with nine years of education compulsory. At 5 years old, a child enters the primary school system, progressing to the secondary school system when he/she reaches the age of 11 or 12. Entrance into the secondary system requires successful completion of the common entrance examinations. The state provides full five-year secondary education, where the students are equipped to take what are referred to as Ordinary Level (O'Level) exams, specifically the Caribbean Examination Council or Cambridge University examinations. These exams are also used to prepare the students for college and university level courses. Some of the students take the Advanced Level (A'Level) exams offered by Cambridge University, which gives them entrance into the regional University of the West Indies or, if they desire, to foreign universities.
Through the University of the West Indies, the Antigua State College has offered the First Year university program since 1988, and successful students continue on to complete their final two years of study, leading to the undergraduate or Baccalaureate degree. It also offers students technical vocational training in home management, office practice, refrigeration, electronics, agriculture, and other areas. The University of the West Indies has campuses in Jamaica, Barbados, and Trinidad with areas of study covering natural sciences, which include Math, Biology, Physics, and Chemistry. Studies in the arts, general studies, engineering, tropical agriculture, law, medicine, and computer science are also offered. Antigua hosts a center for the University of the West Indies, which also offers courses to qualified students.
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—Marsha L. Shively