Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com » Global Education Reference » Côte d'Ivoire - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education

Côte d'Ivoire - Preprimary & Primary Education

children percent schools women


Preprimary education is still a new concept in most developing African nations. In rural areas, women tend to remain at home and care for their own children until they enter elementary schools. In large urban centers like Abidjan, Bouaké, Divo, and Daloa, the increasing integration of women into the workforce has encouraged the growth of childcare centers and preschools. In 2000, there were 35,553 preschoolers (17,381 girls) enrolled in 276 schools. Of these, 19,075 were enrolled in 230 public institutions. They were taught by a total of 1580 teachers (96 percent women)—870 of them working in public schools.

Ivoirian children attend primary schools between the ages of 6 and 11. Classes are divided into three two-year cycles: preparatory stages I and II (CP1 and CP2, or Cours préparatoires de première et deuxième année), elementary levels I and II (CE1 and CE2 or cours élémentaires de première et deuxième année), and intermediary levels I and II (CM1 and CM2 or cours moyens de première et deuxième année). In 2000, there were 1,910,820 children enrolled in primary schools in Côte d'Ivoire: 1,688,503 in public schools and 222,317 in private institutions, with a gender distribution of 58 percent boys and 42 percent girls. There were 8,082 primary schools (including 781 private institutions) offering a total of 43,406 classes and a teacher-student ratio of 1:44. There were 44,731 primary school teachers (including 5,791 in the private sector) and 23 percent of them were women.

The six-year primary school program ends with a selective national examination known as the CEP (certificat d'études primaires or elementary school proficiency examination). Only the children who pass this exam are allowed to continue into the secondary education cycle. In 2000, there were 285,391 candidates for the CEP, and a total of 155,246 succeeded—a 54 percent passing rate. It is a measure of both the selectivity and the pedagogical difficulties of primary education in Côte d'Ivoire that, after six years of schooling, only 15 percent of the children who originally entered the system at the age of six qualified as candidates for the national examination, reflecting a dropout rate of 85 percent over six years. In 2000, out of the 253,293 children enrolled in CM2 (the grade preparing the children for the CEP), 107,827 were also repeating the entire year.


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