Education in The Bahamas
Joined Commonwealth: 1973
Population: 342,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 1.1% p.a. 1990-2009
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 43
Net primary enrolment: 91.6% (2008)
Net secondary enrolment: 86.1% (2008)
There are 12 years of compulsory education starting at age five. Gross enrolment ratio for all levels combined was 74.1% in 2008 with a primary female-male ratio of 1.00:1 and a secondary female-male ratio of 1.03:1 (2008). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 15:1 and for secondary 13:1 (2008). The school year starts in September.
The College of The Bahamas, the country’s leading higher education institution, provides a diverse curriculum with courses leading to bachelor’s degree level. The Eugene Dupuch Law School opened in September 1998, as a part of the University of the West Indies. It offers the same curriculum as the Manley and Wooding Law Schools. Students are eligible for places at the University of the West Indies, which also has an extra-mural department in Nassau and campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Other government-assisted higher technical and professional schools and private colleges provide clerical, secretarial, accounting and computer training.
There are several initiatives to improve the academic curriculum in the public school system, with a particular emphasis on improving performance in mathematics at The Bahamas Junior Certificate and General Certificate of Secondary Education levels. Educators, including the Bahamas Association of Mathematics Educators, have underlined the importance of mathematics education in many academic disciplines and employment sectors.