Education System in Guinea

PrimaryPrimary7–126Primary School (ecole primaire) Education system of the country of Guinea before it became an independent country was patterned on that of France. All schools were nationalized in 1961. French remains the language of instruction, apparently as an interim measure Education is free and officially compulsory for all children between the ages of 7 and 13, but in 1997 only 54% of eligible children actually attended primary school. Certificate/Diploma awarded: Certificat ďEtudes Primaires Elémentaires / CEPE (Certificate of Primary Elementary Studies).
MiddleLower Secondary13–174Lower secondary school (collège ďenseignement général) Certificate/Diploma awarded: Brevet ďEtudes du Premier Cycle / BEPC (First Cycle Studies Diploma).
SecondaryAcademic Upper Secondary17–203Baccalauréat Première Partie (Baccalaureate First Part) examination at the end of the 2nd year, Baccalauréat Deuxième Partie (Baccalaureate Second Part) examination after the 3rd year.
TertiaryUndergraduate First Stage2Diplôme d’Etudes Universitaires Générales/DEUG (Diploma of General University Studies) Currently, the higher education system of Guinea consists of two universities--University of Conakry and the University of Kankan--and three professional institutes, which have been annexed to the universities (the Institute of Education, the Institute of Agronomy and Veterinary Sciences, and the Institute of Mining and Geology).
TertiaryUndergraduate Second Stage1Licence (Licentiate)

Primary Education

Education is compulsory and free in Guinea between ages 7 and 13. Unfortunately as is the case in so many third-world countries, this dream is seldom realized completely. The first 6 years of the program take place at primary school, although in practice many rural children never even get this far. Those who do though, are rewarded with a Certificat ďEtudes Primaires Elémentaires.

Middle Education

A far smaller number of pupils go on to secondary education. The first 4 years of this take place at lower secondary school, and continue to be academic in nature. They culminate in an examination for the Brevet ďEtudes du Premier Cycle Certificate.

Secondary Education

The final 3 years of the Guinean 11-year sub-tertiary education system are spent at academic upper secondary schools, but only by those young people fortunate enough to have parents with the money for their fees, and who are prepared to support them voluntarily for another 3 years too. Many who make it thus far obtain passes at the final Baccalauréat Deuxième Partie examinations, that herald the end of secondary education in a poverty-stricken land.

Vocational Education

There is little formal industry in Guinea, and hence little formal vocational training either. Local crafts and trades are important though, although skills are passed on by masters without formal skills themselves.  

Tertiary Education

Tertiary education in Guinea follows the French pattern reflecting the country’s past. Guinea has 40 institutions of higher education, both public and private, overseen by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Ministère de l'Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique).

The top universities in Guinea are l'Université Gamal Abdel Nasser in Conakry, founded in 1962 and Julius N'yéréré University of Kankan, founded in 1963. Each offers License, Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures (DES), and Doctorat degrees in most disciplines including medicine and health professions.

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