Niger Education

By | May 28, 2021


Corona crisis: since May 25, 2020, the life of the students has been moving back to normal in Niger: School is becoming everyday life again for many children.

The literacy rate in Niger is – as before – low and is 19.1% (2017). The educational situation in Niger shows a positive development, but the creation of training and jobs does not even come close to meeting the demand, so that going to school does not guarantee employment.

Officially, schooling is compulsory for 10 years and the state school system is free. The expected length of school attendance is 5.4 years, the actual schooling time is 1.7 years for the average of the population. Often the teachers are not very motivated and feel “transferred” to a school location in the country. Fewer girls (a good 40%) than boys (around 50%) attend school.

The school system follows the example of France. The education system is threefold: elementary school, secondary school and university. Primary school lasts 6 years and ends with a diploma (CEPE – Certificat D’Etudes Primaires Elementaires). An entrance examination entitles you to attend secondary school (general and technical colleges and then the lyceum). The Baccalauréat (Abitur based on the French model) entitles the holder to study at a university. The average number of pupils per class is often 60 children, with values over 100 children being achieved. In rural areas, the official language of French is almost never spoken by the students – in the past, lessons were only held in French. Meanwhile the bilingual lessons are becoming increasingly popular. The first bilingual schools existed in 1973, and now there are 700 schools out of around 8000. The design of bilingual teaching, which is intended to make it easier for children to start school, is funded by a number of projects; However, this requires the availability of suitable teaching staff. The UNESCO stressed the importance of this form of teaching.

A main problem, especially in rural areas, is the notorious lack of teachers. The teacher-student ratio is, according to UNESCO at 36. In recent years opened more and more private schools (kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools), as well as private training institutes and universities. The mission schools, which are very reliable in their work and are even mostly attended by Muslim children, are of particular importance. School fees are charged at these institutions.

Overall, the state primary schools, which do not charge school fees, are more or less ineffective due to poorly paid and unmotivated teachers, a lack of educational aids, etc. But despite all this, more and more children are reaching the end of primary school. According to the UNICEF report from 2013, the graduation rate of children enrolled in school was around 70% on average for the years 2008-2012. There is a difference of almost 20% between an investigation by UNICEF and the information provided by the administration. According to the PNUD, the percentage of school enrollment more than doubled between 1992 (28.8%) and 2008 (69.8%). It is assumed that 100% school enrollment can be achieved in 2015. From year to year, the motivation of children and parents to have their children at least attend primary school increases – after all, 65% of the children who go to school finish. Niger has to struggle with many problems in imparting basic school knowledge: reasons for a still lower school enrollment rate girls (62.2%) than boys (77.4%) are of a socio-cultural or religious, economic and institutional nature, the completion rate of primary school is 62.2% for girls and 75.5% for girls Boys. The primary school enrollment is now at 89%, whereby too young and old pupils are included. This is particularly noticeable among those ethnic groups that have so far hardly participated in the development of education, the nomads. The school enrollment rates are also low, but still close to 60%. Meanwhile, more and more parents in the pastoral milieu are motivated to send their children to school and are taking initiatives to set up schools. In order to motivate teachers to come to remote areas, privately initiated projects are attempted by parents to give state teachers a wage supplement. The question remains, of course: what happens after school? Because Niger does not offer enough training and work opportunities.

According to pharmacylib, there are only a few schools in Niger that are geared towards children with disabilities.

Vocational training

Formal vocational training in the sense of dual training only exists where projects have initiated vocational training. In most cases, “vocational training” only takes place informally.

There are technical schools in Niger for: mining, aviation, polytechnics and health.

Non-formal education

Religious education at Koran schools is on the rise. Often children attend the Koran schools on the weekend in addition to the state school. Parents who are concerned about their girls and who want to raise them primarily to be conformist housewives and mothers prefer to send the girls to Koran schools. There are over 50,000 Koran schools in Niger. In the educational reports of UNESCO in recent years the Koran schools and their increasing importance in the education of young people are highlighted and the need to improve their educational material.

Higher education

In the meantime, the university system in Niger has been expanded considerably. There is a state university (Abdou Moumouni); it is divided into the following faculties: agriculture, human sciences, health sciences, law, economics and technology. There are other (state) university locations in: Tahoua, Zinder and Maradi, Agadez, Diffa and Dosso.

Banking and accounting, economics and management can be studied in Tahoua, regional planning and urban planning are offered in Zinder, and electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and civil engineering are taught in Maradi.

Some private universities were founded. The Canadian University in Niamey offers courses in Administration, Law and Rural Economics. The Free University of Maradi specializes in health sciences / medicine and education.

The Islamic University of Niger is located in Say. In recent years, private educational institutions have been established across the country. These institutions are founded and sponsored by both local and foreign donors.

University of Tahoua