Niger's education system weakened by numerous obstacles
The situation of Niger’s education system is, in many ways, alarming, according to a recent note prepared by the Pôle de Dakar, an education sector analysis unit set up within the UNESCO Dakar Office.
The problem is not lack of political will. The government has allocated a budget to education that is higher than that of other countries in the region (3.7% of GDP compared to 3.4% on average). And progress have been made in recent years.
Between 2000 and 2009:
- student enrollment increased at the primary school level from 660 000 to over $ 1.5 million
- more than 16,000 additional classrooms have been opened
- nearly 30 thousand teachers have been trained
Intense population pressure
However, being among the world's poorest countries, Niger is still far from the goal of universal primary education: only 62% of children complete the cycle by 2014.
The country is facing intense population pressure, over 50% of its population is under 15, and the costs of schooling are very high.
This makes the room for maneuver very slim given the numerous challenges, including learning quality, curriculum relevance and equal access to all...
The future challenge for Niger, the note indicates, will be to find the path of progress while ensuring that sustainable physical and financial intrastructures are in place. Arbitrations prove already tight.
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