Featuring the Caribbean: Anguilla works towards open and inclusive education

  • 17 August 2017
© Anguilla Community College

Anguilla is a British overseas territory that lies to the east of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, directly to the north of Saint Martin. Its territory consists of the main island of Anguilla, approximately 26 km long by 35 km wide at its widest point, together with a number of much smaller islands and cays with no permanent population. The most common language spoken other than English is the island’s own Creole language. As of 2013, the island had an estimated population of 15,700; in 2011, 1,067 were living in the capital, the Valley. Anguilla has been an Associate Member of UNESCO since November 2013.

The macroeconomic situation in Anguilla remains relatively stable, with 5.6 per cent and 2.8 per cent real-terms growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 and 2015, respectively, despite volatile conditions in global markets. In 2016, the island had a GDP per capita of XCD 66,410 (USD 24,500). Its education system is highly centralized and planning largely occurs at the national level. Between 13 per cent and 15 per cent of total government expenditure is allocated to education. The Department of Education, under the Ministry of Health and Social Development, is the main responsible body for the coordination, management and delivery of education in the public sector in Anguilla. Key education policies[1] are translated into five-year medium-term education development plans, and are prioritized according to the current and envisioned future situation for education. The current education development plan covers the period 2015–2020.

Over the years, Anguilla has moved in leaps and bounds with respect to education for youth and lifelong learning. The government’s commitment to promoting and supporting adult and continuing education programmes has been confirmed in the latest education development plan.

There is a wide demand for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Anguilla, from, among others, secondary school students, recent secondary school graduates and working-age people with work experience who wish to gain a formal qualification that recognizes their skills or to prepare for a career change. While tourism and construction are the main economic drivers and employment suppliers in Anguilla, many locals, in tourism and related service sectors, in particular, are employed in low-skills, low-wage jobs. In recognition of the importance of TVET to the country’s development, the government has established a TVET Council in accordance with the Education Act, as the legally appointed national training agency for the coordination and management of TVET at national level.

In practice, adult learning and youth development activities, together with TVET programmes, are offered by public and private institutions in Anguilla. The three major agencies involved are: Anguilla Community College (ACC), the Department of Youth and Culture (under the Ministry of Health and Social Development) and Anguilla TVET Council in collaboration with Barbados Community College.  ACC is Anguilla’s first national post-secondary education entity and also offers TVET courses and continuing and adult education. In 2006, the Community College Development Unit was established, primarily providing training for the hospitality sector. Later on, continuing and adult education courses leading to the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), as well as other courses (e.g. for tourism) were developed. Currently, the college is able to offer adult learners various certificate and diploma programmes, in subjects such as business studies, electrical installation and geriatric care.


Caribbean Development Bank Country. 2016. Gender Assessment (CGA) Anguilla. Available at: http://www.caribank.org/wpcontent/uploads/2016/05/CountryGenderAssessmentAnguilla.pdf  [Accessed on 04 July 2017].

Government of Anguilla Ministry of Finance, Economic Development Investment, Commerce and Tourism. 2015. Anguilla Population and Housing Census 2011, Selected Housing and Household Indicators–Analytical Brief. Available at: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/demographic/sources/census/wphc/anguilla/AIA-2015-05-22.pdf [Accessed 04 July 2017].

Germany Trade & Invest. 2017. Programming Document Anguilla Strategic Cooperation between the Government of Anguilla and the European Union Budget Support for the Education Sector. Available at: https://www.gtai.de/GTAI/Content/DE/Trade/Fachdaten/PRO/2017/03/Anlagen/PRO201703105007.pdf?v=1 [Accessed 04 July 2017].

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The Government of Anguilla. n.d. Department of Education-End of Year Report 2014-2015. Available at: http://www.gov.ai/documents/education/doe_report_2014_2015.pdf  [Accessed on 10 July 2017].

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United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. 2017. World Population Prospects. Available at: https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/ [Accessed 05 July 2017].

United Nations. 2015. Anguilla. Available at: http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/pdf/Anguilla%202015%20profile_%2015%20Dec%202015.pdf [Accessed 05 July 2017].

[1] Including: Education Policy 2002, Teacher Quality Policy 2008 and the TVET Policy 2015


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