Education in The Bahamas: Everything You Need to Know

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/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 a luxurious condo or waterfront property, 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. 

 

Education in The Bahamas: History and Education Today

The Bahamian government has long supported a robust education system for all of its citizens. Quality, accessible education for all has been a priority of the Government of The Bahamas, and today, they can boast some excellent statistics:

  • More than 50,000 K-12 students learn across the 170 educational institutions in The Bahamas. 
  • 92% school attendance rate
  • 93% literacy rate

Education in the Bahamas began changing in the mid-1960’s with the advent of the Majority Rule, which “ushered in the opportunity for all Bahamians to have constitutional, political, social, cultural and economic rights.” 

Before that, there was a high student to teacher ratio, limited school supplies (like slates instead of notebooks), and less resources for public schools. 

Today, quality education is free for every Bahamian child, thanks to the Education Act of 1996. The Ministry of Education Bahamas now oversees the entire education system, providing much better oversight and management than in the mid-1900s. 

Today, education in the Bahamas follows a 6-3-3 structure:

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

But what if you’re not quite ready for primary school yet? Perhaps you are still in the planning phase before children or have a toddler to consider amidst your relocation plans? Let’s explore some of your early childhood and preschool education options in The Bahamas. 

 

 

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 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 

 

 

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

 

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

 

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.)

 

Education in The Bahamas: FAQs

 

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

 

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. 

 

Some Bahamas Education Statistics and Fun Facts

  • The Bahamas School Attendance Rate is 92%.
  • The Bahamas Literacy Rate is 93%.
  • The Education Act assures free access to education for all Bahamians aged 16 and under. 
  • Acclaimed artist Tavares Strachan studied liberal arts and painting at the University of the Bahamas.
  • Three-quarters of Bahamian primary and secondary schools are government-owned. 

 

Conclusion: Live and 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. 

Are you interested in learning more about privately operated schools in the Bahamas? Check out our complete list! And be sure to reach out to one of our skilled agents at Better Home and Gardens MCR Bahamas for all of your Bahamas real estate needs, from Nassau to The Exumas!  

Education in The Bahamas: Everything You Need to Know

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