Education System in Senegal


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryPrimary Education166126 
SecondarySecondary Education61213196 
VocationalVocational      
TertiaryTertiary-Higher Education      

Primary Education

Secular education is compulsory and free in Senegal up to age 16, although this policy is not enforced in areas where Islamic education is preferred. A combination of poverty and an uncaring administrative attitude also drives many parents and children away. At the end of 6 years, pupils must write a common examination to determine whether they may study further.

Secondary Education

Secondary school is an uneven battleground between the haves and the have-nots, who compete for places at better schools. Those who perform badly may end up in classes with ratios as high as 80:1, and many simply vanish from the education radar for ever. At the end of 2 years ,a second examination bars all but the fortunate few from completing their secondary education cycle over another 4 years.

Vocational Education

Children who are unable to find seats in secondary school classrooms drift away into the informal sector where they often apprentice themselves for a little training in return for no wage. A variety of donor agencies are trying to reverse this trend by introducing student-centered vocational training colleges.

Tertiary Education

Senegal EducationThere are 3 private and 3 public universities in Senegal. Gaston Berger University not far from Saint-Louis was established in 1996 and educates in both liberal arts & social sciences, and applied sciences & technology.


Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar is older, having begun in 1918 as an école africaine de medicine. Today, over 60,000 students benefit from education in humanities, sciences, engineering, medicine, finance, accounting, and law, all taught in French. It is illustrated here.


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