Education in the Caribbean

Education is an important process during which a person acquires knowledge, learns to interact, engages with the culture, and adopts the values of society.  In this report, we have focused on attention on four key regions in the Caribbean: Trinidad and Tobago, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and the Netherlands Antilles.

The educational system in the Netherland Antilles (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten) is based on the Netherlands system and provides an education at all levels. The government fully finances the national education system, and education here is free. There are also private schools, such as the International School of Aruba, which charge fees and are taught in English.

There are three types of general secondary education:

  • MAVO (Secondary General Secondary Education) with a duration of 4 years
  • HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education) with a duration of 5 years
  • VWO (pre-university education) lasting 6 years

The level of secondary education includes about ten public schools. In addition, there is another school that offers lower, basic vocational, and technical education.

Secondary vocational education includes: one public school with a 4-year secondary technical education, one public school three-year secretarial program and two private schools - the International School of Aruba and the Collegio Paso Sigur, a school of liberal arts.

The International School of Aruba has all levels of education, except for the higher - it provides education in English for students from preschool to grade 12. The school operates according to the US public school curriculum.

Higher education institutions include two educational institutions: the College of Education and the University of Aruba.

The University of Aruba offers a bachelor's degree (BA/BSc), or a master's degree (MA/MSc) in four different faculties:

  • Accounting and audit
  • Finance and Marketing
  • Tourism Management and Hospitality
  • Art and Science

Education is conducted in English, preliminary entrance exams can be taken in Aruba, USA or online.

The University of Curacao offers degrees in Law, Science and Medical Sciences. The University of Sint Maarten offers degrees in Human Sciences and Arts, being one of the most advanced Liberal Arts universities in the Caribbean.