Preprimary & Primary Education
The primary and secondary educational systems are basically carried over from the French national system, which had been implemented in all former colonies of French West Africa. The school year runs from September to July. Officially, primary education begins at the age of seven and lasts for six years. Children from urban areas typically enter primary school around age six, while their counterparts from rural areas may wait until they are almost nine years old.
In 2000, there were 790,497 students enrolled in 4,289 primary schools. Of these, only 39.8 percent were girls. (The disproportionately low percentage of girls and women is an anomaly that is found at every level of public education in Guinea, from primary school to graduate and professional education. The same trend is evidenced among primary and secondary school teachers. It worsens considerably in higher education where the percentage of women shrinks below 5 percent of the faculty. Traditional societal roles, exacerbated by the fact that 85 percent of the population is Muslim, are the most frequently cited explanations for this discrepancy.) These pupils were taught by 17,340 teachers, with 1 teacher for every 45 students. At the primary level, teaching is focused on preparing the majority of students to enter the workforce as quickly as possible. At the end of the sixth grade, the test for the Certificat d'Etudes Primaires (Elementary School Certificate) is administered to all students. Only those who pass the CEP are allowed to continue into the secondary school system (in 2000, the passing rate was 53.2 percent). This elitist system is directly inherited from the French public school system. It creates an early division and orientation between students continuing on to an academic program and those going to technical or vocational schools.
Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceGuinea - History Background, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education, Higher Education - CONSTITUTIONAL LEGAL FOUNDATIONS, NONFORMAL EDUCATION