Read about the curricula, exams and tests commonly encountered at international schools, including the UK and US systems, International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum.
Are you looking for an international school in Cuba? You can find a list of selected schools at the bottom of this page. Use the search filters to select only girls' or boys' schools, prep schools, senior schools or sixth forms; or you can search for schools that offer a particular curriculum, such as the International Baccalaureate, the UK or US national curriculum or the International Primary Curriculum.
One of the world’s few remaining communist countries, Cuba has a high level of human development and a literacy rate close to 100 per cent. Following the 1959 revolution, virtually all private schools were nationalised and the government consistently prioritised education, which made up 14.2 per cent of public spending in 2019.
There was one notable outlier: Hillside School. The private English-medium school serving a handful of pupils from a small house in Havana was opened in 1965 by British teacher Phyllis Powers. In 1974, a group of embassies and international agencies successfully lobbied the government to recognize it as a school for the children of diplomats.
Renamed the International School of Havana in the 1980s, the school gradually grew to admit children from age two to 18. Today, it follows the International Primary Curriculum and English national curriculum leading to IGCSEs and the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
Cuba has two other international schools. The Centro Educativo Español de La Habana teaches in Spanish and offers the national curriculum of Spain leading to the Bachillerato exam. It serves Spanish citizens living in Cuba as well as Spanish-speaking diplomats and business people from around the world. The school, which admits children from age two to 18, has separate campuses for its primary and secondary sections.
The Lycée Français de la Havane Alejo Carpentier is a French-medium school that offers the national curriculum of France leading to the baccalaureat exam. The school, which also has two campuses, is registered with the Agency for French Education Abroad (AEFE). Senior high school students follow an online programme offered by the French National Centre for Distance Education (CNED).
Education is compulsory from age six to 15 and public education is free at all levels. Secondary schooling has junior and senior stages, with the latter offered in pre-university and technical-professional tracks. In 2019, net enrolment was 97 per cent at pre-schools, 99 per cent at primary level, and 83 per cent at secondary level, according to UNESCO. Gross tertiary enrolment was 44 per cent.