Barbados is an eastern Caribbean island and an independent British Commonwealth nation. Bridgetown, the capital, is a cruise-ship port with colonial buildings and Nidhe Israel, a synagogue founded in 1654. Around the island are beaches, botanical gardens, the Harrison’s Cave formation, and 17th-century plantation houses like St. Nicholas Abbey. Local traditions include afternoon tea and cricket, the national sport.
Barbados has been an independent country since 30 November 1966. Most Barbadians of African and European descent are Christians (95%).English is the official language of Barbados, and is used for communications, administration, and public services all over the island. The Barbados literacy rate is ranked close to 100%. The mainstream public education system of Barbados is fashioned after the British model. The government of Barbados spends 6.7% of its GDP on education.