International Schools in Sao Tome and Principe

Diploma and graduate hat - Fotolia

You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in São Tomé and Principe with fee information. The list includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools for you to find the right school to prepare for the International Baccalaureate and other accreditation in São Tomé and Principe. Some schools may follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the Portuguese language and system.

Education in São Tomé and Principe

The school system used in São Tomé and Principe before independence was basically the same as in Portugal (as it was one of its colonies). Nowadays, schooling is compulsory for four years only, which belongs to primary education.

After graduation from primary school, Sao Tomeans can then proceed to secondary school. Secondary school is another 6-year program.

The government of São Tomé and Principe developed an education sector plan, as well as an Educational Policy Charter 2012-2020 outlining priorities and strategies for the education sector. The final objective of the government is to provide both primary and secondary of free, quality education to all children in the country, as well as offer higher and technical education opportunities.

São Tomé ranks 196th out of 200 in terms of college enrolment in world rankings.

International Schools

International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in São Tomé and Principe. Many schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam. There may be some local population, but the schools are usually geared for an international student body. Schools may follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, France, etc. Primary instruction may be any language (and multiple languages are usually taught), but it is usually in English, French, Spanish, German, or Japanese. Schools also provide internationally accepted accreditation such as the international baccalaureate.

Admission and enrolment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.

Accreditation & Membership

  • The CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.
  • European Council of International Schools (ECIS) is a collaborative network promoting the ideals and best practice of international education, complemented by grants and awards.
  • Council of British International Schools (COBIS) is a responsive organisation that serves, supports and represents its member schools.
  • New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) is a regional accrediting association which establishes standards for all levels of education, from pre-K to doctoral.
  • Agency for French Education Abroad (Agence pour l'enseignement français à l'étranger, AEFE) is a national public agency under the administration of the French government that assures the quality of schools teaching the French national curriculum outside France.
  • National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) represents over 1100 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad.

International schools in São Tomé

EPSTP-CELP – Escola Portuguesa de São Tomé e Príncipe – Centro de Ensino e da Língua Portuguesa
C.P. nº 636 - São Tomé
Tel:  +239 999 58 19
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

The School aims to spread the Portuguese language and culture, based on the Portuguese curricular structure. ​The educational offer focuses on regular education, from the 1st cycle of basic to secondary education (12th year). In secondary education there are groups of scientific-humanistic courses in the areas of Science and Technology, Social and Economic Sciences, Arts and Languages ​​and Humanities. Since the 2017/2018 school year, the school has adhered to the Curriculum Autonomy and Flexibility Project.

Escola Internacional de São Tomé e Principe
Avenida Amílcar Cabral, 43
São Tomé, Sao Tome and Principe
Tel: +239 222 3383
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school

Escola Internacional de São Tomé e Principe is a private international school, supervised by APRENDE (Association for the Promotion of Teaching and Educational Development). It is in the process of being recognized as a teaching and certifying learning centre for the 1st cycle of basic education. The school includes 1st cycle education: From 1st to 4th grade, and it follows the Portuguese curriculum.