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Burkina Faso

History & Background

Similar to other French West African colonies, Burkina Faso (known as Upper Volta until 1983) based its educational system on that of France up until it achieved independence in 1960. Six years of primary education, beginning at age six, was followed by up to seven years of secondary instruction. Less than 1 percent of the population actually enrolled in secondary education; those who did graduate were forced to seek higher education in France as none existed at the time in Upper Volta. During the 1950s, the French government increased the percentage of the national budget spent on education from 13 percent to 23 percent. As a result, primary education enrollment jumped from 2 percent to 6 percent. Concerned that such a sizable portion of the budget was needed to maintain such a meager enrollment rate, education officials began examining ways to make education more accessible—particularly to girls and to children living in rural areas—while at the same time increasing the economic efficiency of the system.

Additional topics

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceBurkina Faso - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Secondary Education, Higher Education - EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM—OVERVIEW, PREPRIMARY PRIMARY EDUCATION, FINANCE ADMINISTRATION EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, TEACHING PROFESSION, SUMMARY