Education System in Mali
There is an element of imbalance in Mali Education because the ministry of lower education is increasing throughput, whereas the ministry of secondary and higher education still does not have sufficient secondary schools. As a result, many secondary students are deprived of opportunities, and this still happens more frequently to girls than boys. Education is provided free of charge and legislated as compulsory between ages 7 and 16, of which the first 6 years are primary schooling. Despite improved facilities many poorer children still do not attend because of high ancillary education costs.
Students wishing to continue with their schooling must first pass the diplôme d’étude fondamentale on finishing primary school. Of those who succeeded in 2008, almost 21% were unable to obtain admission to middle school. Those who did, followed a standard academic curriculum for the next 3 years.
Upper secondary schools are clustered in urban areas, and the best of these are privately administered. This sad reality of life ensures that the path to progress is largely obscured for those young people whose fathers are not either wealthy, or otherwise influential.
The Mali government is addressing the secondary education bottleneck by expanding vocational training and introducing a national apprenticeship system. Practical skills like literacy and basic agricultural knowledge are also being provided. The country remains one of the poorest in the world, and of necessity, progress is slower than it might have otherwise been.
One of the world’s most ancient education institutions is Sankore Masjid which still operates in Timbuktu as a seat of Islamic learning. Its modern counterpart, the University of Bamako illustrated here, was founded in 1996 and is named after the capital city where it stands.
Its 5 faculties include science & technology, medical, humanities arts & science, law & public service, and economy & management. It also hosts an institute of management, and an institute of training and applied research. The medium of education is French.