Education in The Bahamas: Everything You Need to Know [2024]

education in bahamas
Timothy Smith

Every parent or aspiring parent considering relocation to The Bahamas has one burning question on their mind: will my child receive a quality education in The Bahamas?

Whether for primary school or post-secondary and tertiary education, you want to ensure your kids get the absolute best. How do the universities rank? Is it prudent to focus on private institutions, or is public education in The Bahamas adequate?

Here at MCR Bahamas, many of our clients have these same questions. Before you invest in Bahamas real estate, you want to feel confident that you’ve set your kids up for success. Then, you can truly enjoy the country’s gorgeous beaches!

If you’re thinking about moving to The Bahamas in the next academic year, stay tuned! We’ll cover everything you need to know about education in The Bahamas, including the best international schools, the benefits of attending private schools, and much more. 


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Table of Contents

History of Education In The Bahamas

Since before colonial times, The Bahamas has always valued learning. As the islands transitioned through various historical phases, so did its approach to education.


Bahamas Union of Teachers 

The evolution of education in The Bahamas has been marked by the efforts of various stakeholders, one of the most important being The Bahamas Union of Teachers. This organization has played a crucial role in advocating for better working conditions for educators, particularly given the average cost of living in The Bahamas, and improvements in educational resources and services for Bahamian students. 

Before the Majority Rule era in the mid-1960s, there were significantly limited resources for education, including high student-to-teacher ratios and insufficient school supplies. The union has been instrumental in negotiating with the Ministry of Education to lower these ratios, improve working conditions, and raise the average salary, thus contributing to The Bahamas’ education ranking.


The Education Act

In 1996, the Education Act was introduced in The Bahamas. This piece of legislation provided free quality education for every Bahamian child, thus leveling the playing field for Bahamians, particularly since average rent in The Bahamas has undoubtedly increased.

The act includes provisions to improve the allocation of financial resources through banking and finance channels, making it easier for the Ministry of Education to fund projects aimed at enhancing the learning environment. As a result, public schools now have better access to educational resources. 


Bahamas Education System Structure

Following a 6-3-3 structure, the modern education system structure in The Bahamas allows for a comprehensive educational journey that prepares students for both local and international opportunities, whether in business, services, or further education.

  • Six years in primary school, ages 5-11
  • Three years in junior school, ages 11-14
  • Three years in senior school, ages 14-17


Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education in The Bahamas is the governing body overseeing all educational matters in the country, from the bustling centers of Nassau to the more isolated islands. With the Education Act in place, the ministry has been able to improve its oversight and management functions. It’s not just about elementary and secondary education; the ministry also oversees early childhood education options for residents who are in the planning phases for their children or who have toddlers.

In collaboration with local and international partners, the Ministry of Education is continually working on projects to improve the educational infrastructure. These projects range from updating school property and amenities to implementing advanced learning technologies, thereby enhancing education for all Bahamians.


Education in The Bahamas Today

In the heart of the Caribbean, The Bahamas stands not only as a tourist paradise but also as an evolving educational hub. As global influences intertwine with rich local traditions, The Bahamas crafts a unique educational narrative, reflecting its commitment to fostering informed and empowered future generations. Dive in to uncover the essence of modern Bahamian academia.


National Exams in The Bahamas

Students in The Bahamas undergo assessments at four critical milestones:

  • GLAT3 (For 3rd Graders): This is both a diagnostic and performance-based test.
  • GLAT6 (For 6th Graders): Similarly, this test is designed for diagnostic and performance evaluation.
  • BJC (Usually taken in 9th Grade): This is a performance assessment.
  • BGCSE (Commonly administered in 12th Grade): This serves as a final performance evaluation before exiting secondary school.

Presently, the Examinations and Assessment Division takes pride in the fact that most students exiting Bahamian educational institutions do so with a nationally and internationally recognized achievement record. This puts expats looking for a house in The Bahamas at ease, particularly those with children.


National High School Diploma

Starting with the 2014 9th-grade batch, students will graduate with a Bahamas High School Diploma (BHSD), signifying a standard level of high school achievement. 

To earn this diploma from a public high school, students must:

  • Pass four subjects in The Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) Examinations in 9th grade, including Mathematics and English.
  • Accumulate at least 27 credit hours from grades 10-12, with 15 credits from core subjects.
  • Maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.0 over grades 10-12.
  • Complete 30 hours of unpaid community service during grades 10 and 11, following school guidelines and verified by the receiving organization.
  • Finish 20 hours of job readiness training.
  • Have a 90% or higher attendance and punctuality rate over grades 10-12.
  • Parents must attend at least three parent/teacher conferences during grades 10-12.

Additionally, student conduct and parental involvement are factors to be considered in deciding a student’s graduation eligibility.


New Technology

Technological advancements are playing an increasingly important role in Bahamian education. To keep up with global trends, the Ministry of Education has undertaken various projects aimed at integrating new technology into the classrooms. In addition to the beaches and serene views, that’s probably why U.S. citizens want to own a property in The Bahamas.

This includes providing access to digital learning materials, high-speed internet services, and modern computer hardware, thus bringing the educational system to islands like Long Island and Grand Bahama in line with international standards. Such initiatives also contribute to The Bahamas’ education ranking, as the adoption of new technologies is often a factor considered in such metrics.


Research and Development School

The Research and Development School plays a crucial role in enhancing the quality of education in The Bahamas through data collection, analysis, and policy recommendations. Its core objectives include:

  • Data collection
  • Resource planning
  • Research
  • Monitoring
  • Policy analysis
  • Project management

This section of the Ministry of Education plays a vital role in the system of education in The Bahamas. It disseminates its findings to government agencies, NGOs, and the general public. It combines statistical information, resource planning, and policy analysis to optimize the education system’s efficacy and responsiveness to social needs.


Bahamas Education Ranking

The Bahamas doesn’t hold international education rankings, but they score well in high school enrolment, overall literacy, and university gender parity.


Early Childhood & Preschool Education in The Bahamas

Before primary school years, childcare is quite expensive in Canada and the US. The Bahamas was no exception–until recently. The government infused millions of dollars in funding to promote universally free education for all its citizens, including kids aged 3-4 years old. From the Bahamian school budget, one million dollars was allocated directly to developing new preschools on the islands.  

The Ministry of Education Bahamas lists all public pre-primary schools on its website. Make sure you check each individual school for the latest information, as some information on the government website may be outdated! 

Currently, 67 preschools operate in The Bahamas. Here are a few examples:


Tiny Tot Preschool

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Features: Church services, parent nights, science days


Summit Academy

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Cost: Request more information. 
  • Features: Christian; international; small Classes


Mastic Point Pre-Primary School (now named ROZELDA M. WOODSIDE PRIMARY SCHOOL)

  • Location: Mastic Point Settlement, North Andros, Bahamas
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Features: Tablets for all students; small classes


primary education the bahamas


Primary Education in The Bahamas

If you have a child aged 5-11, you’ll want to get up-to-speed on the best primary schools in The Bahamas. Currently, 94 primary public schools operate on the islands. 

Here are some of great primary schools in The Bahamas: 


St. Andrew’s International School

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Cost: $4,365 to $14,910 annually
  • Features: Christian; Internationally recognized; Robust curriculum


First Step Academy

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Cost: Request information
  • Features: Christian


Mount Thompson Primary

  • Location: Farmer’s Hill, Exuma 
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Features: Arts festivals and talent shows 


international education the bahamas


Secondary Education in The Bahamas

Secondary education in The Bahamas encompasses both senior high (high school) and junior high (middle school). Currently, 31 secondary public schools are running in The Bahamas. 


N.G.M. Major High School 

  • Location: Long Island, Bahamas 
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Features: Academic and athletic excellence; Leads country in national exams including B.J.C. and B.G.C.S.E


Lyford Cay International School

  • Location: New Providence
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Cost: $8,820 (preschool); $30,039 (high school).
  • Features: US State Department preferred school; IB Program; Free co-curricular activities.


The Island School

  • Location: Eleuthera
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Cost: $16,000 (summer) $34,650 (regular semester)
  • Features: Sustainable, oceanside campus; Environmental specialists; World-class researchers


CV Bethel Senior High School

  • Location: Nassau, Bahamas
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Features: Christian; patriotic


secondary education the bahamas

Tertiary Education: Universities and Colleges in The Bahamas

The Bahamas boasts the flagship University of the Bahamas. Accredited by the National Accreditation Council, this university offers a wide range of bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. programs in fields like: 

  • Architecture
  • Banking and Finance
  • Sociology
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Law
  • Engineering
  • Culinary Arts

Its more popular post-graduate programs include the MBA, leadership master’s, and public administration certificate.


About the University of The Bahamas:

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Tuition fees
    • $115-$150/credit for Bahamian undergraduate students
    • $200-$230/credit for international undergraduate students
    • $550-$750/credit hour for Bahamian graduate students
    • $1,000-$1,500/credit hour for international graduate students
  • Features: World-class nursing, accounting, and media journalism programs

university education the bahamas


Other popular colleges and universities in The Bahamas include: 


Bahamas Baptist Community College

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Cost: $450-$570 per credit for undergraduate courses; up to $1,000 for graduate
  • Features: Small classes; Day and evening classes; Highly qualified staff; Christian focus
  • Programs: Natural sciences, business, theology, humanities, social sciences


Bahamas Institute of Business and Technology

  • Location: Freeport, Bahamas
  • Cost: Request information. 
  • Features: Linked to socioeconomic and cultural needs of the country; scholarship opportunities
  • Programs: Human resources, marketing, organizational change, accounting, law


Eugene Dupuch Law School

  • Location: Nassau, New Providence
  • Cost: $8,000 – $10.000 per year
  • Features: Sibling to Hugh Wooding Law School (top Caribbean law school); In-service training
  • Programs: Law (constitutional, criminal, civil, etc.)


Vocational & Technical Training in The Bahamas

The Bahamas offers a range of vocational and technical training certificates and diplomas designed to prepare students for direct entry into the workforce or further studies. The Ministry of Education often collaborates with these vocational and technical schools to ensure their curricula meet both national and international standards.


Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute

vocational course

Location: Nassau

Cost: Registration fee of $200 per semester for Bahamian students and $350 per semester for international students. The tuition fee for Bahamian students is $50.00 per credit hour for programs leading to an associate of applied science degree. For international students, it’s $75.00 for each contact hour in associate of applied science degree courses, plus an extra $150.00 for administrative fees related to Professional Development Courses. 

Programs: Beauty, Trades, Construction and Mechanical, Electronics and Media Technology, Fashion, Information and Communications, Professional Development, and other Special Programs.

Learn more: 


National Training Agency

training agency

Location: Nassau

Cost: While there isn’t pricing information publicly available, courses at the NTA can sometimes be subsidized or sponsored by government initiatives, private companies, or non-governmental organizations, making them more affordable or even free for eligible participants.

Programs: Job Readiness Preparation, Internship Placement, Job Placement Assistance, Productivity and Performance Enhancement, and Customized Corporate Consulting and Training

Learn more: 


More About Education in The Bahamas

fun facts Bahamas

Where does The Bahamas rank in education?

The Bahamas doesn’t hold international education rankings, but they score well in high school enrolment, overall literacy, and university gender parity. 


What vocational education is there in The Bahamas?

The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BVI) offers many trade programs for prospective students, like: 

  • Automotive industries
  • Technology
  • Computer systems
  • Beauty trades
  • Massage therapy
  • Souvenir manufacturing
  • Fashion trade

vocational education the bahamas


Who is the Minister of Education in The Bahamas?

Glenys Hanna Martin is the current Minister of Education, Technical and Vocational Training of the Bahamas. 


What is the Education Act in The Bahamas? 

The Bahamas Education Act governs educational standards for the country. For example, it assigns educational oversight to the Ministry of Education Bahamas. And it asserts that education must be free for Bahamian residents and citizens until the age of 16. 


What is the school leaving age in The Bahamas? 

Students are required to complete school from the ages of 5 to 17. 


Education In The Bahamas Statistics & Facts

Understanding The Bahamas education statistics and facts provides valuable insight into the strengths and focus areas of the system. From attendance and literacy rates to public investment in education, these numbers tell a compelling story. 


The Bahamas school attendance rate is 92%.

This high turnout is indicative of the value that Bahamians place on education, as well as the resources and structure provided by the Ministry of Education to facilitate learning for residents across the islands, including Long Island and Grand Bahama.


The Bahamas literacy rate is 95.5%.

This statistic is a testament to the effectiveness of its educational system and its compliance with international standards


The Education Act of 1996 assures free access to education for all Bahamians aged 16 and under.

This provides a legal framework that enhances access to educational resources for Bahamians. This act has significantly contributed to the statistics we see today, including the high attendance and literacy rates. 

This has also helped Bahamians financially, especially with increasing average rental prices in the area.  


Acclaimed artist Tavares Strachan studied liberal arts and painting at the University of The Bahamas.

The quality of education in The Bahamas is not limited to basic literacy and numeracy; it also extends to higher education and specialized fields. Acclaimed artist Tavares Strachan, for example, honed his skills in liberal arts and painting at the University of The Bahamas, illustrating how local institutions contribute to international success stories.


Three-quarters of Bahamian primary and secondary schools are government-owned.

The Bahamian government plays a significant role in education, with approximately 75% of primary and secondary schools being owned by them. This underlines the government’s commitment to providing quality education to its citizens. 

However, there are also great private international schools in The Bahamas


The Bahamian government spends 20% of its budget on education.

Parents should be happy to know that the Bahamian government places a huge importance on education. Remarkably, 20% of the national budget is allocated to educational projects, services, and resources. 

This signifies the importance placed on education as a tool for social and economic development in The Bahamas.


Live & Learn In The Bahamas

The Bahamas features unique learning opportunities and robust educational paths for Bahamian citizens and residents alike. Whether you’re a new international permanent resident or Bahamian at heart, the country has many education options to ensure a fulfilling, successful education for your children. 

Ready for your luxury home in the Bahamas? Contact us at MCR Bahamas, we can help!

Education in The Bahamas: Everything You Need to Know [2024]

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