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Educational System in Martinique

The one tip that you hear expats living in Martinique repeatedly sharing with newcomers is not to buy a home when you first move to Martinique. Rent for a few months or longer so that you have time to find the right neighborhood. Give yourself time to ensure that Martinique is right for you for the long term. If you've already taken time to do those things and are ready to take the plunge and become a property owner, here are tips about buying a home in Martinique.
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Martinique, a region of France located in the Caribbean, follows the French educational system. This system is highly centralized, structured, and renowned for its high academic standards. The language of instruction is French, and the curriculum is identical to that in mainland France. This guide aims to provide expats with a comprehensive understanding of the educational system in Martinique, including the main stages of education, enrollment procedures, language requirements, availability of bilingual schools, types of private schools, and the possibilities of homeschooling and online schooling.

What are the main stages of education in Martinique?

The educational system in Martinique is divided into four main stages: École Maternelle (preschool), École Élémentaire (elementary school), Collège (middle school), and Lycée (high school). Each stage has a specific focus and caters to different age groups.

École Maternelle (Preschool)

École Maternelle is for children aged 2 to 6 and focuses on early childhood development. It is not mandatory but is highly recommended to prepare children for elementary school. The curriculum includes basic literacy and numeracy, as well as social skills development.

École Élémentaire (Elementary School)

École Élémentaire is for children aged 6 to 11. It is compulsory and focuses on foundational knowledge in various subjects such as French, mathematics, science, history, geography, and physical education. The curriculum also includes civic education to instill values of respect and responsibility.

Collège (Middle School)

Collège caters to students aged 11 to 15. It provides a broad-based education with a focus on further developing knowledge and skills in various subjects. At the end of Collège, students take the Diplôme National du Brevet, a national exam that assesses their proficiency in these subjects.

Lycée (High School)

Lycée is for students aged 15 to 18. It offers general, technological, and vocational paths, leading to different baccalaureate exams. The general path prepares students for higher education, while the technological and vocational paths provide more specialized training for specific careers.

How does a newcomer from a different country enroll their kids in school?

Newcomers can enroll their children in school by contacting the local town hall (Mairie) or the school directly. They will need to provide various documents, including proof of residence, the child’s birth certificate, and vaccination records. If the child has been previously schooled, academic records may also be required.

My children are still learning French, can they enroll in a public school?

Yes, children who are still learning French can enroll in public schools in Martinique. These schools often provide French as a Second Language (FSL) programs to help non-native speakers catch up with their peers.

Are there public bilingual schools?

While there are no public bilingual schools in Martinique, some private schools offer bilingual programs. These schools follow the French curriculum but provide instruction in both French and English.

What types of private schools are common in Martinique?

Private schools in Martinique are often Catholic schools, international schools, or bilingual schools. Catholic schools follow the French curriculum but also include religious education. International schools follow international curriculums, such as the International Baccalaureate (IB), and provide instruction in English. Bilingual schools offer instruction in both French and English.

Do expats typically send their children to public or private school?

Expats in Martinique typically choose between public and private schools based on their children’s language proficiency and their personal preferences. Those who prefer an English-speaking environment or a specific curriculum may opt for private international or bilingual schools. Others who wish their children to be fully immersed in the French language and culture may choose public schools.

How expensive are Private schools in Martinique?

The cost of private schools in Martinique varies widely depending on the school and the specific program. On average, tuition fees can range from a few hundred to several thousand euros per year. It is advisable to contact the schools directly for accurate information.

Are you allowed to homeschool while living in Martinique?

Yes, homeschooling is allowed in Martinique under certain conditions. Parents must notify the local education authority and undergo annual inspections to ensure that their children are receiving an education equivalent to that in schools.

May kids attend online school instead of a local school while living in Martinique?

Yes, children can attend online school while living in Martinique. However, this option should be discussed with the local education authority to ensure that it meets the educational requirements. Online schooling can be a good option for older students or those with specific educational needs.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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