What Is the Education System Like in Jamaica?

Primary school is free in Jamaica and children start when they are 6 years old. After primary education, at the age of 12, children attend secondary schools after which, at the age of 17, students may attend vocational school or university. After the age of 11, education in Jamaica is no longer compulsory, or required by law.

Primary education schools are either private or state-owned. Children attend primary school beginning at age 6 and ending at age 12. The Jamaican government wants to increase literacy and math skills throughout the country and is therefore putting more time and money into upgrading its secondary schools. As of 2014, secondary schools in Jamaica are either single-sex or mixed, and students now have access to larger libraries and computers than ever before.

Once a student is finished with secondary school, they must pay for their own education. Vocational schools in the area can be either state-funded or private and train students in things like the automotive industry, information technologies, beauty services or construction skills. Jamaica now has five universities and several community colleges set up for those students who would like to further their education. Some universities are privately funded while others are state-owned. Each college and university follows a Western-based curriculum.