(Caribbean360) Barbados is moving ahead with advancing elements of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, including free access to public schools for CARICOM students.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Ministry of Education said that all CARICOM nationals under the age of 16, who reside in Barbados, will be afforded access to government nursery, primary and secondary schools without being charged tuition fees.
“CARICOM students will not be required to have student visas. However, they will pay all fees that are applicable to Barbadians students,” it said.
“The exemption does not extend to post-secondary, vocational nor tertiary level education. In addition, CARICOM students will not qualify to be granted scholarships and exhibitions.”
The Ministry also noted that in order for a CARICOM national to access the tuition free provision, at least one parent, or one legal guardian must be residing in Barbados under an approved immigration status – citizen, permanent resident, immigrant, or reside and work.
The elimination of student visas for CARICOM nationals will not remove the requirement to monitor non-nationals in the school system.
Upon the CARICOM non-national child’s first entry into the Barbadian school system, the parent or legal guardian will be required to produce to the Ministry of Education a letter from the Immigration Department confirming that the child qualifies for tuition free treatment.
The Education Ministry said this requirement will only apply to a first entry into the school system and not any subsequent transfer to a different school.