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Equatorial Guinea

Educational System—overview

In 1971, UNESCO inaugurated the Centro de Desarrollo de la Education (CDE) with the mandate to train high school teachers. The project was halted after just a few years by President Macias, however, who was anxious to put an end to anything that threatened his power and that he deemed "intellectual." During President Macias' term in office, the educational system in Equatorial Guinea experienced severe setbacks. Teachers, students, and parents were arrested and, in some cases, several ministers of education and other education officials were executed, arrested, or detained. Beginning in April of 1972 military education became a requirement in all schools, and in April of 1975 political instruction also became mandatory. By 1972 there were 360 primary schools with 578 teachers for 35,902 students. At that time, the teacher-student ratio was 1 to 62 (Liniger-Goumaz 2000).

Following the palace revolution of 1979, the educational system in Equatorial Guinea slowly recommenced operation. Despite assistance from Spain, France, the United Nations, and the World Bank in the forms of textbooks, teachers, and training, the educational system in Equatorial Guinea remains severely hampered by a lack of trained and qualified staff.

Compulsory Education: Education is compulsory for all children between the ages of 6 and 18, although it is widely accepted that the government does not enforce the laws concerning compulsory education. It is estimated that only about 79 percent of children actually attend primary school and that only 69 percent of children progress to receive secondary education. Both the primary and secondary levels consist of six years of schooling. The dropout level is very in high in Equatorial Guinea. Illiteracy rates (for 1999) for adult males age 15 and above are estimated at 8 percent while the rate of illiteracy for women age 15 and above is 27 percent (World Bank 1999).

There is rampant discrimination again women in the education system of Equatorial Guinea, as women tend to be constrained by traditional customs reinforcing their secondary social status. It is estimated that the average woman receives only one-fifth the amount of schooling that the average male receives. In addition, there is no national legislation for the protection of children's rights, so discrimination and truancy are overlooked by the state (U.S. Department of State 1999).

Because of the relatively poor conditions of most public schools in Equatorial Guinea, private schools are becoming increasingly more common, although problems still persist with resources and with adequate funding (Liniger-Goumaz 2000).

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Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceEquatorial Guinea - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Higher Education, Summary - TEACHING PROFESSION