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Education in Dominica

Published by UNESCO "UNION NACIONAL DE EDUCACION SUPERIOR CONTINUA ORGANIZADA"

 "NATIONAL UNION OF CONTINUOUS ORGANIZED HIGHER EDUCATION"

 


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The fundamentals of the Dominica Education System are sound says Education Minister St. Jean

Government Information Service - Thursday, June 17th, 2010 at 2:11 PM

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Education Minster, Hon. Petter St. Jean

Minister for Education and Human Resource Development, Hon. Petter St. Jean has spoken with conviction about the state of Dominica’s education system by stating that “The fundamentals of the Dominica education system are sound”.

The Minister made that statement at yet another opening of a Primary School- this time in St. Cyr in the Carib Territory on Monday, May 31st 2010.

“The Dominica education system is on the right track. Universal Primary Education, a seat in school for every child was at one time the major challenge of education in Dominica. It was right thing to tackle Universal Primary Education with all our energy, all our resources. We achieved 100% primary education. Dominica is better off for it. We are not turning back, “Hon. Petter St. Jean said.

The Minister lauded the achievement of Universal Secondary Education (USE) by this Government in 2005. “Our more recent challenge was Universal Secondary Education. Opening the doors of secondary schools to every child of school age, whether from North or South, rich or poor , black, white or Kalinago was at one time the major challenge of education in Dominica. It was the right thing to tackle Universal Secondary Education with all our energy, with all our resources. We are not turning back… ……”

The Minister acknowledged that Dominica at this time faces two new major challenges. One challenge is excellence in public education and the other is increased access to tertiary education.

“Excellence in public education for all and access to tertiary education for all are linked not so much in the logic of science but in the purpose behind our efforts as a country, that is, out of poverty and into economic prosperity. They are linked because of the role they play in taking Dominica where we want to go. Without going back on our commitment to ensuring universal access to secondary school, we must tackle the goal of universal excellence in public education and the goal of universal access to higher education as if our future depended on it. Because, in truth and in fact, our future as a society in the global economy depends on it, ”The Education Minister stated.

In his address the Minister reiterated the commitment given by the Prime Minister many years ago “Of having a university graduate in every household”.

“We know that by empowering households through education, families can climb out of poverty on their own, “Hon. St. Jean said.

After the achievement of the USE in 2005, the Government set its sights on the attainment of Universal Tertiary Education. Since the establishment of the Dominica State College in 2002, enrolment has more than quadrupled to over 2400 students. Funds have been secured for the construction of a new Dominica State College which has stated its intention to become a university offering full bachelor’s degrees in a few years.

The Labour Party Government has invested heavily in the education system in Dominica. The records will show that spending on education was not reduced even during the period of fiscal stabilisation and adjustment in the period 2002-2006.
Four hundred and twelve students (412) are currently pursuing degrees at regional and international institutions, having been awarded scholarships by the Government of Dominica. In addition to this, Government is providing financial support to another four hundred and twenty-eight (428) Dominican students studying at various universities throughout the world.

 

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Education System in Dominica

 

 

Education

School/Level

Grade From

Grade To

Age From

Age To

Years

Notes

Primary

Primary School

 

 

 

 

7

Equivalent to eighth grade in the United States. Education is compulsory between the ages of 5 and 16.

Secondary

CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) Examinations

 

 

 

 

5

 

Post-secondary

CXC Caribbean Advanced Placement Examination (CAPE)

 

 

 

 

2

 

Tertiary

College/University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Primary Education

 

In Dominica early missionaries and the religious institutions they left behind have played a role in education for centuries, and a state / private partnership continues to this day. Opportunities begin with a network of Roman Catholic daycare centers / preschools until the age of 5. Thereafter children attend primary school for 8 grades.

 

Secondary Education

 

The final 2 years of the school education system complete at state secondary schools. Students who wish to go on to university (and whose parents can afford it) may continue on to 12th grade at private schools, and obtain an advanced level certificate. Unfortunately, these schools are all in larger wealthier urban centers, and there are few bursaries for those who hope to break the chains of rural poverty.

Vocational Education

There are a number of state-funded technical colleges where young people may complete trade training in all traditional disciplines. These too, though, are more often than not situated in more densely-populated  places.

 

Tertiary Education

 

Dominica State College, The University of the West Indies does not have a campus on Dominica and until recently all students had to travel across the oceans to obtain degrees. There have however been 3 lower-level tertiary institutions on the island for some time, namely the Dominica State College, the School of Nursing and the Dominica Teachers Training College. 

The State College established in 2002 is continuing to grow, and is finally moving towards full university status by beginning to award bachelors degrees in nursing. Plans are afoot to extend this role.

 

 

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