Education Encyclopedia - » Global Education Reference


school enrollment teachers international

Official Country Name: Burkina Faso
Region: Africa
Population: 11,946,065
Language(s): French, native African languages
Literacy Rate: 19.2%
Number of Primary Schools: 3,233
Compulsory Schooling: 7 years
Public Expenditure on Education: 1.5%
Foreign Students in National Universities: 755
Libraries: 21
Educational Enrollment: Primary: 700,995
  Higher: 8,911
Educational Enrollment Rate: Primary: 40%
  Secondary: 7%
  Higher: 1%
Teachers: Primary: 14,037
  Higher: 352
Student-Teacher Ratio: Primary: 50:1
Female Enrollment Rate: Primary: 31%
  Secondary: 5%
  Higher: 0.4%

School enrollment in Burkina Faso is among the lowest in Africa. In 1992 primary enrollment reached 28 percent; roughly 37 percent of these students were girls. Free primary education is not compulsory. French is the primary language of instruction at all educational levels, and the academic year runs from October to June.

Burkinabe children attend primary school between the ages of 7 and 13. After six years of study, students must pass a final examination to receive a primary school certificate of completion. The student-teacher ratio is 64:1, notably higher than the 40:1 student-teacher ratio average for all of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Ministry of Basic Education and the Ministry of Secondary and Higher Education oversee all curricula-based decisions regarding scheduling, examinations, grading, and syllabi.

Primary school teachers are usually required to complete lower secondary school, as well as a two-year program at the Ecole Nationale des Enseignants du Primaire, (ENEP) which awards graduates the Certificat de Fin d'Etudes des ENEP. Secondary school teachers are required to attend either a university or a teachertraining institute to earn a teaching license. Higher education teachers must hold doctoral degrees.

Despite improvements in school enrollment, mainly at the higher education level, literacy rates in Burkina Faso remain among the lowest in the world. Only 29.5 percent of males and 9.2 of females were considered literate in 1997. Education officials continue to examine methods of making education more accessible to all residents, particularly those in remote farming communities.


Grabe, Sven. Nonformal Education for Rural Development, Case Study No. 14: The Rural Education System in Upper Volta. Essex, Canada: International Council for Educational Development, 1972.

Haddad, Wadi D. The Dynamics of Education Policy-making: Case Studies of Burkina Faso, Jordan, Peru, and Thailand. Washington, DC: Economic Development Institute of the World Bank, 1994.

OSEAS-ADCEC. Burkina Faso: Education Profile. Washington, DC: Association of International Educators, 2000. Available from

U.S. Dept. of State. Background Notes: Burkina Faso. Washington, DC: GPO, 1998. Available from

World Higher Education Database 2000. Burkina Faso—Education System. Paris: International Association of Universities/UNESCO International Centre on Higher Education, 1998-1999. Available from

—AnnaMarie L. Sheldon

Burundi [next] [back] Bulgaria - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

24 days ago

website Designer

Website Development

Dedicated Server

Website Hosting

Shared Hosting

VPS Hosting

Cloud Hosting

Packers and Movers India

Packers and Movers United State

Vote down Vote up

26 days ago

Quickbooks Support Number @
Quicken Support Number @
Sage Support Number @