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.
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.