Barbados is a small state of the Commonwealth and the most eastern of the Caribbean islands, with a population of about 280,000. Barbados ranks high among Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) countries in terms of social and economic indicators.

School-age Population by Education Level1

18,617

 

18,979

Secondary

 

Tertiary

 

 

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending 20181

105.8%

 

101.8%

Female

 

Male

 

 

Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20111

90.6%

 

40.3%

Female

 

Male

 

 

Percentage of female teachers in 1

66.0%

 

n/a

Secondary (2018)

 

Tertiary (2007)

 

 

1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020

 

Literacy rate (2012)1

n/a

 

n/a

Adult (15+) literacy rate
Female

 

Adult (15+) literacy rate
Male

 

 

Economic Activity (2010)1

67%

 

79%

Adult (15+) economic activity
Female

 

Adult (15+) economic activity
Male

 

 

Political Decision Making (2014)1

10%

Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament

 

 

Life expectancy (2012)1

81

 

75

Female

 

Male

 

 

1. COL gender country profile April 2015 

 

44.4 122.6
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1

 

 

 
34.1 44.2
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1

 

 

 
72.5 81.8
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1

 

 

1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020

 

Highlights

The Commonwealth of Learning’s (COL) work in Barbados is primarily in the areas of technical and vocational skills development and tertiary education, through the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth. 

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

The Technical and Vocational Skills Development (TVSD) initiative supports partners to harness technology so as to increase access to improved quality skills training. COL worked with national training authorities from Barbados, Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago to develop the Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Asssessor Training as online open educational resources. Launched in February 2017, the online training aims to improve the efficiency and affordability of this basic training which all teachers and trainers working in CVQs are required to have. Learn more about the Technical and Vocational Skills Development initiative.

Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth

Barbados is a member of the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth (VUSSC). Initiated by and built on the support of Ministers of Education of developing small states of the Commonwealth, VUSSC supports the collaborative development and sharing of open educational resources (OER) to promote learning for sustainable development. COL recently supported the Barbados Community College to build the capacity of 19 instructors from the Hospitality Institute to design and develop online and blended courses in tourism, including the delivery of online language courses. Learn more about the VUSSC initiative.

Partners

Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL's partners in Barbados include:

  • Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation
  • TVET Council Barbados