St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Trained Teachers + More Classrooms = Better Secondary Education

April 23, 2013


Primary students working with Mathematics materials in the classroom.

World Bank

Since 2004, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, supported by the World Bank, has undertaken the construction and rehabilitation of secondary schools to create an additional 750 school places, increase secondary enrollment by about 30 percentage points, provide instructional materials, train counselors and teachers, and help to increase the Caribbean Examinations Council pass rates by 14 percentage points. About 15,000 students benefitted from the project.


Access to secondary education in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was inequitable, there were inadequate curriculum materials, student violence in schools contributed to drop out rates, and some secondary schools were overcrowded. Quality was also deficient; teachers’ qualifications were low and instructional materials were not sufficient to support delivery of the curriculum.


The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Education Development Project (OEDP)—St. Vincent and the Grenadines Education Development Project was designed to support the priorities identified in the government’s Education Sector Development Plan. This plan aimed at achieving universal secondary enrollment through construction and rehabilitation of education infrastructure, particularly in underserved areas.  The project also focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning through teacher training and establishment of libraries. 


The project contributed to improved equity of access and quality of secondary education. Key outcomes included:

  • Increased enrollment by about 750 students between 2004 and 2011, through construction of a new secondary school to accommodate about 750 students. 
  • Improvement in the proportion of students passing at least five subjects at the Caribbean Examinations Council, from 37 percent in 2004 to 51 percent in 2011.
  • Introduction of a new curriculum policy, which is better aligned with the Caribbean Examinations Council, and meets the diversified learning needs of students.
  • Placement of trained counselors and peers counselors in all secondary schools to reduce school violence and improve attendance.
  • Establishment of 16 library information centers and classroom libraries to enhance the teaching of numeracy and literacy at the primary level and to ensure better preparation for secondary education.

Bank Group Contribution

The Bank provided financing of SDR2.2 million and US$3.1 million in 2004.


Entering the grounds of West St. George Secondary School – a well designed school in a disadvantaged area.

Harriet Nannyonjo / World Bank


The close collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) during design helped to provide funding for some of the quality enhancing activities.

Moving Forward

Project activities have been mainstreamed, and recurrent costs for maintaining school infrastructure are included in the budget. The government is currently preparing an education strategy to continue the focus on improvement in the quality of learning.


Main beneficiaries were secondary school students. They included:

  • 750 students in the newly constructed secondary school.
  • Around 2,160 students in the rehabilitated schools.
  • Around 12,000 students and their teachers who benefited from the improved teaching and curriculum.
  • Around 3,500 students who benefited from the libraries and information centers.
  • Around 1,500 students annually who benefited from the student counseling services provided by the five full-time counselors, in addition to peer counseling. This helped to reduce student violence and improve performance.