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Ivory Coast Table of Contents

Ivory Coast

The Education System

Figure 8. Public Education System, 1988

Source: Based on information from International Yearbook of Education, 32, New York, 1980, 112-3.

The education system comprised three stages: primary school lasted six years, leading to a certificate of primary studies; secondary school lasted seven years, leading to a certificate or baccalauréat (see fig. 8). University education, available only in Abidjan, culminated in a university degree. A large number of technical and teacher-training institutions also provided postprimary and postsecondary education. There was no system of adult education, although many adults attended night courses or, in rural areas, received literacy and other instruction via radio.

Most public schools were tuition free, although students paid an entrance fee and bought uniforms. Most supplies were free, and some students received government scholarships, usually in return for a period of government employment after graduation.

In 1980 approximately 14 percent of primary schools and 29 percent of secondary schools were private. Most of these were Catholic, staffed by religious and lay teachers, with salaries partially subsidized by government funding. Catholic schools operated primarily in the south and east but were also located throughout the country. Religious instruction was not permitted in government schools. Quranic schools were common in the north and were tolerated, but not supported, by the government. Some students attended both public and Quranic schools.

The school year was divided into three terms, beginning in September and separated by short Christmas and Easter holidays and a two-month summer recess. The average week consisted of approximately thirty hours of classes, Monday through Saturday morning. Most instruction encouraged mental discipline more than analytical thinking or creativity, by emphasizing rote memorization and oral recitation.

Data as of November 1988