Education Systems in Africa Part XIV: Cote d’Ivoire

Education Systems in Africa Part XIV: Cote d’Ivoire

ivorycoastCote d’Ivoire continues to rebuild an education system devastated by the country’s 2011 civil war. Recent months have seen positive developments, including the re-opening of the country’s universities, which were closed for much of the past two years. The Ivoirian government and development partners are working to train teachers and repair infrastructure with the goal of providing quality schooling for children throughout the country.

Cote d’Ivoire follows the French system of education. Ivoirian children attend six years of primary school and then sit for exams culminating in a certificate of primary studies. Many go on to secondary school, which is organized into two cycles.

The premier secondary cycle lasts four years and ends with state exams; successful first-cycle students earn the Brevet diploma. The second cycle lasts three years, after which students sit for the Baccalaureat exam, required for admission to university.

Scale Description U.S. Grade Equiv.
16-20 Tres Bien (Very good) A
14-15 Bien (Good) B
12-13 Assez Bien (Good Enough) C
10-11 Passable (Passing) D
0-9 Ajourne’ (Fail) F

Primary students study French, mathematics, history, geography, science, health, manual labor, and religion. Classes in physical education, music, and art are also offered.

First-level secondary curriculum includes French, English, history/geography, mathematics, natural sciences, technology, design, music, and physical education. Second-level students specialize according to their chosen path, which may be literature, science, professional or technical.

Higher education in Cote d’Ivoire is provided by five public universities, a number of teacher training schools, and technical institutes which offer courses in science and technology, engineering, business, and agricultural science. The government appears committed to bringing the country’s higher education in-line with international standards and recently announced plans for three more universities and the adoption of a three-tier degree system.

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