Ivory Coast Table of Contents
Approximately 1.5 million pupils attended primary school in 1987, representing about 75 percent of boys and 50 percent of girls below age fifteen. Primary-school enrollments increased at a rate of about 7.2 percent per year from 1960 to 1980, climbing to 9.1 percent between 1976 and 1980. This rate slowed after 1980, averaging 4.2 percent from 1981 to 1984 and 2.2 percent after 1984.
Children entered primary school at the age of seven or eight and passed through six grades, divided into preparatory, elementary, and intermediate levels. In the first six months, students mastered French, the language of instruction. Classes in reading, writing, and arithmetic were taught, gradually supplemented by history, geography, natural sciences, music, art, and physical education. Rural schools also required students to work in school gardens and learn basic agricultural methods. Standard school-leaving exams led to the certificate of elementary education (certificat d'étude primaires élémentaires--CEPE) and determined entrance to secondary institutions.
Data as of November 1988