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The educational system in Mali has a number of serious problems that the country is trying to address with help from the World Bank and other national and international organizations, including:

  • As late as 1997-1998, less than 50 percent of the children of primary school age attended school. To alleviate this problem, more schools need to be built, especially in rural communities.
  • The system is highly inefficient because of high grade repetition and dropout rates.
  • The quality of education is often poor because of the lack of textbooks and other instructional materials, and because of poor initial training and continuing education of teachers.
  • Insufficient resources are allocated to education.
  • Schools are managed centrally by the government. School administration needs to be decentralized, and parents need to be better informed and more involved in the schools.


Bane, Mamadou Chérif. "An Analysis of Educational Reforms in Mali, 1962-1992." Ph.D. diss., University of Kansas, 1994. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI, 1994.

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The World Fact-book 2000. Directorate of Intelligence, 1 January 2000. Available from http://www.cia.gov.

Europa. The Europa World Yearbook 2000, Vol. 1. London: Europa Publications, 1999.

Hough, J.R. "Inefficiency in Education: The Case of Mali." Comparative Education 25, 1989.

International Association of Universities. International Handbook of Universities, Fifteenth Ed. New York:
Grove's Dictionaries Inc, 1998.

Ouane, A. "Mali: System of Education." In The International Encyclopedia of Education, vol. 6. Tarrytown, NY: Elsevier Science Inc, 1994.

Site de l'Antenne ANAIS-BAMAKO, 15 December 2000. Available from http://w3.anaisbko.org.ml.

Turritin, Jane. "Integrated Literacy in Mali." Comparative Education Review 33, 1989.

UNESCO. Statistical Yearbook/Annuaire Statistique 1999. Lanham, MD: Bernan Press, 2000.

World Bank. Mali: Improving Learning in Primary Schools. Washington, DC: The World Bank, 2000. Available from http://www.worldbank.org.

—Gilles Labrie

Additional topics

Education - Free Encyclopedia Search EngineGlobal Education ReferenceMali - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education