The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (METI) is the Government agency responsible for the formulation of educational and human resource development policies and for the administration and regulation of education and human resource development programmes. The education system caters to approximately 59 500 students annually - 28 000 at the primary level 22 000 at the secondary level and 11,459+ at tertiary level including those enrolled at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Cave Hill campus. Within the education system there are presently 71 public primary schools, 1 infant school, 4 public nursery schools, 23 public secondary schools, 7 assisted private secondary schools, 2 assisted special schools, 1 public senior school, 20 registered private schools, 3 tertiary-level institutions (namely UWI Cave Hill, Barbados Community College - BCC and Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic - SJPP), 1 teachers' training institution and 1 central administrative agency. In addition, there are 3 departments, namely Media Resource Department, School Meals Department, and the Education Project Implementation Unit.
In the context of globalisation and continued changes in information and communication technologies, the national philosophy will be to use education as a tool for national development by ensuring that society develops social, cultural, economic and political viability. Education will therefore be promoted as a lifelong process, which seeks to produce outcomes that are culturally-based, technologically-driven, diverse and dynamic. It will also seek to inculcate in citizens an understanding of, and appreciation for the rule of law. It is through education that individuals will be equipped with the tools necessary to build an all-embracing, cohesive society.
The various strategies employed by the Ministry will:
- promote learning as a collaborative experience;
- be responsive to, and influenced by, the needs of all beneficiaries;
- recognise the existence of multiple intelligences and abilities, and ensure that these are addressed in the classroom;
- accommodate and address the different learning styles of our students;
- allow each student to develop at his/her own pace;
- promote the creativity of students and the youth, and the building of self-esteem and confidence;
- reinforce the cultural and spiritual values and those behaviours necessary for a productive and wholesome life;
- adopt a research-driven and consultative approach to the development of programmes; and
- promote the holistic development of young people through the creation of an enabling environment that facilitates the self-actualisation of the youth.
The Ministry in conjunction with other governmental and non-governmental agencies, will continue to offer a multi-sectoral approach to the delivery of social services to young people. The emphasis will continue to be placed on the identification of the needs of young people and the addressing of these needs through relevant programmes.