Congo Education

On paper, education in the Republic of the Congo looks promising; modelled on the French educational system, its compulsory between the ages of six and sixteen with six years of primary and seven years of secondary education.

The reality, however, is somewhat different particularly for those living in rural areas.

Years of warfare and political instability have severely damaged the standing of education in Congo Brazzaville with less GDP spent today than in 1991 and a significant fall down to 44% from 79% enrolment rate in 1991.

However, there is now a renewed interest in education and these figures are improving with literacy running at 86% ~ the highest across Africa.

Yet the country is one of Africa's leading sub-Saharan oil producers.

Education is supposed to be free, but, like in so many other African countries the costs of books and pencils make education unaffordable for many children and for those who do attend, many classrooms have no tables nor chairs, forcing students to sit on the floor when trying to learn.

Education in the Republic of Congo is divided into four levels. The first level, which is optional, is a three year pre-school period up to the age of around five and a half years. Following that, all children should enrol in six years of compulsory primary school comprised of two preparatory years, two elementary years and finally two medium years.

Pupils are then required to undertake the Secondary School Entry Test. Those who fail have to sit another year whilst those who pass then commence seven years of Secondary School. This period is divided into grades 7-10 of 'college' education followed by grades 11-13 of 'lycee' education with successful students being awarded the Senior School Higher Certificate Examination baccalaureate.



 
 
 
 
 
 

Congo Education

Congo Education

Congo Education

Congo Education

 


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Congo Education

Congo Education

Those who wish to continue their education can then attend the country's only state funded university, the Marien Ngoubai University in the capital city Brazzaville.

Given that 47% of the country's population is aged 15yrs or younger, this has put a strain on the accessibility of education ~ simply having enough teaching staff to educate the children and, of course, for many living in poor rural communities and those thousands of children living on the streets of cities like Brazzaville, education simply isn't an option.

In 2011 the Republic of Congo launched its "Strengthening the prevention of HIV among school youth and providing care for children living with HIV in the Republic of the Congo" providing information and education to all the country's school children to promote safer sexual behaviour.

This video documentary gives an insight into education there. Click on "Congo Profile" for our full series of articles about the country, its history and life there today.

 
 


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