SSaint Lucia was under the governments of Britain and France from 1605, switching between them fourteen (14) times, until it was finally ceded to the British in 1814, from whom it gained independence on 22 February 1979.
Since independence, the country has been established as a democratic, parliamentary constitutional monarchy, with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. Locally, she is represented by the Governor General, whose functions are mainly ceremonial.
Today, the main source of income comes from the tourism sector, which accounts for 65% of GDP, a shift from the island’s traditional reliance on the agricultural industry.
As of mid-2014, there were an estimated 167,769 people living on the island, 85% of whom are of African descent and 11% of whom are of mixed race.
The official language of St Lucia is English, but it coexists with a French Creole known as Kwéyòl.
The main education laws are set out in the 1999 Education Act No. 41.
The education system comprises 8 districts based on geographical location. Compulsory education, as provided for in the Education Act, is from age 5 to 15, for a total of 10 years. All students are assured a place in a secondary school due to universal secondary education (USE).
According to 2017/2018 data, there are 94 private pre-schools, 74 public primary schools, 22 public secondary schools, 5 public special needs schools, 1 post-secondary institution and 1 public tertiary institution. In total, this involves approximately 26,000 students.
Knight, V., Marshall, J., Depradine, K., & Moody-Marshall, R. (2021). Saint Lucia´s country review. Santiago de Chile: SUMMA.
Photo credit: GPE KIX
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