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Education in Cote d’Ivoire - An Overview

Cote d’Ivoire also called Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. Before independence education system in Ivory Coast was French dominated. The education was provided to prepare clerk and interpreters to help the region. After Ivory Coast gained freedom from France the development of state run education system was main focus of the new government. Better infrastructure was developed to provide elementary, secondary and higher education. Scholarship programs were brought into force to send students to Senegal, Europe and United States for higher studies. Within 20 years of independence the school enrollment increased nine times and literacy rate heighten.

The Cote d’Ivoire government has three ministries for educational administration:

  • Ministry of Education
  • Ministry of Technical Education and Professional Training
  • Ministry of Higher Education and Research

The present day education system in Ivory Coast comprises of three stages:

(a) Primary school- duration is six years, leading to award of certificate of primary studies, 
(b) Secondary school- duration 7 years, leading to award of a certificate or baccalaureat, and 
(c) University education, available only in Abidjan.

Primary Education in Cote d’Ivoire

According to CIA World Fact Book Data, ‘children of 15 years age can read and write’. In year 1987, students’ enrollment in Primary Schools was 1.5 million. Nearly 75% of boys’ population and 50% of girls’ population were enrolled in primary schools. The enrollment in primary schools rose near 7% when compared to 1960s. However, trend declined in 1980s and hovered around 4%. English is taught as First Foreign Language at school level.

Secondary Education in Cote d’Ivoire

The enrollment of children in secondary schools is low. In year 1987 only around 19% candidates made it to secondary schools. This owes to various factors like lack of interests in education, poor family conditions, inappropriate educational infrastructure and shortage of funds for education. Though secondary education enrollment rises to 11% in 1987 when compared to preceding year 1960 but later significantly declined. The secondary school education makes the basis for enrollment in tertiary classes leading to college degree and diploma.

Higher Education in Cote d’Ivoire

The Ministry of Higher Education and Research is administering authority for higher education and training in Cote d’Ivoire. Minimum education qualification to join college level course is Baccalaureate awarded after 12 years of successful study. Higher Education is offered in various disciplines of humanities, sciences, business education etc. A List of Higher Education Institutions in Cote d’Ivoire can be found in Universities section of this website.

Scholarships, Aids and Grants

Various scholarships are available for students of Cote d’Ivoire. These comes in range of categories like free scholarships, research grants, need based scholarships, interest free study loans etc.
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