In 1993, the literacy rate was estimated at over 72%. Education, free and compulsory for 10 years, is allocated 25% of the total annual budget. Elementary schooling lasts for seven years, followed by three years of lower secondary education and another two years of upper secondary education. In 1997 there were 89 primary schools with 1,214 teaching staff and 31,615 students enrolled. The student-to-teacher ratio stood at 26 to 1. At the secondary level, there were 682 teachers and 11,753 students. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 23 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 96% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 64% of those eligible attended secondary school. An education complex in Castries maintains a teacher-training center, a technical school, a secretarial training center, and a branch of the University of the West Indies. The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College is to be upgraded into a full-fledged campus of the University of the West Indies. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 9.3% of GDP.
In 1996, institutions of higher learning had 157 teaching staff and 2,760 students.