The Education System in Gabon
The education system of Republic of Gabon is primarily patterned from French education. However, changes and developments are being made that will meet the needs of Gabonese and their tradition. Education is of high priority for the government and this is proven by the construction of various rural schools across the country.
Children aged 6 to 16 are required to pursue their basic education and it is free education. Based on statistics conducted in 1996, there were 1,147 primary schools and the recorded number of enrolled students is 250,683 with 4,943 teachers. In secondary level there are 80,552 students and 3,094 teachers. In 1999, the ratio for the number of teacher to pupil is 1 to 44. Adult literacy program is provided by the government. Based on records, Gabon has a 36.8% of adult illiteracy rate in 1995. The projection is that: by year 2000 the illiteracy rate will decrease to 29.2% where 20.2% are males and 37.8% are females.
Half of the number of schools in the country are supported by the church or are privately-operated. The government has spent an estimated 3.3% of the country’s GDP in 1999 for public expenditure on education. Gabon’s higher education level like the Omar Bongo University in Libreville provides degree programs in faculties of law, letters, sciences, engineering, forestry, administration and management. The general baccalaureates include: French language, philosophy, mathematics, economy, physics, earth sciences and biological sciences. Up to the present, French still remains the language of education in Gabon.