Education in Benin

Last updated
Teacher with students in a classroom in Benin. Benin classroom.jpg
Teacher with students in a classroom in Benin.

Benin has abolished school fees and is carrying out the recommendations of its 2007 Educational Forum. [1] (Its education system used not to be free. [2] ) In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate was 72.5 percent, and the net primary enrollment rate was 59.3 percent. [2] A far greater percentage of boys are enrolled in school than girls: In 1996, the gross primary enrollment rate for boys was 88.4 percent as opposed to 55.7 percent for girls. The net primary enrollment rates were 71.6 percent for boys and 46.2 percent for girls. [2] Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for Benin as of 2001. [2] (While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children's participation in school. [2] )

Benin country in Africa

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin and formerly Dahomey, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean. The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin covers an area of 114,763 square kilometres (44,310 sq mi) and its population in 2016 was estimated to be approximately 10.87 million. Benin is a tropical nation, highly dependent on agriculture, and is a large exporter of cotton and palm oil. Substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming.

Primary school School in which children receive primary or elementary education from the age of about five to twelve

A primary school, junior school or elementary school is a school for children from about four to eleven years old, in which they receive primary or elementary education. It can refer to both the physical structure (buildings) and the organisation. Typically it comes after preschool, and before secondary school.


Because of a rapid increase in the enrollment rate, the student/teacher ratio rose from 36:1 in 1990 to 53:1 in 1997. [2] The overall adult literacy rate is nearly 40%. [3] Only 25% of women in Benin are literate. [3]

Literacy ability to read for knowledge, write coherently, and think critically about the written word; ability to read, write, and use arithmetic

Literacy is traditionally defined by dictionaries as the ability to read and write, although broader interpretations insist that any particular instance of reading and writing is always taking place in a specific context, as the proliferation of concepts like "conventional or basic literacy, functional literacy, digital literacy, media literacy, legal literacy, computer literacy, medical literacy and information literacy" suggest. The general consensus among researchers that literacy always includes social and cultural elements is reflected by UNESCO's inclusion of numbers, images, digital media, cultural consciousness, and other means of understanding, communicating, gaining useful knowledge, problem-solving, and using the dominant symbol systems of a culture in its definition of literacy. The concept of literacy is expanding across OECD countries to include skills to access knowledge through technology and ability to assess complex contexts.


By the late 1980s, under Benin's Marxist government, the quality of education was seriously eroded. By 1989, the education system was in a state of collapse. [3] A key event in the reform of education in Benin was the national Conference on Education (Etats Généraux de l'Education, EGE) held in 1990 which adopted a national policy and strategy to improve education. [3] Beginning in 1991, the government of Benin introduced significant changes in the Beninese education system. [3]

Marxism Economic and sociopolitical worldview based on the works of Karl Marx

Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that views class relations and social conflict using a materialist interpretation of historical development and takes a dialectical view of social transformation. It originates from the works of 19th-century German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Education Learning in which knowledge and skills is transferred through teaching

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators, however learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.

Major advances have been made in education, especially in the areas of access and teaching/learning conditions. [3] The gross enrollment rate has increased from a base of 49.7% in 1990 to 96% in 2004 and girls' enrollment from 36% in 1990 to 84% in 2004. [3] Gender balance and geographic equity have shown significant improvements in gross numbers of girls and children from disadvantaged areas attending primary schools. [3] Nonetheless, major constraints and challenges remain. [3]

School system

The Republic of Benin operates on a 6-4-3-3-4 system: [4]

Education is compulsory for children between ages six and eleven. [4] After spending two to three years in kindergarten, it takes six years for them to complete and take the primary school certificate. [4] It requires seven years to complete junior and senior high school. [4] At the end of the four first years of junior high school, the students have to take the O-level (Brevet d’Etudes du Premier Cycle: BEPC). After three years the students have to take the A level (Baccalauréat: BAC) exam which is the equivalent of the U.S. high school diploma. [4]

Kindergarten preschool educational approach traditionally based on playing

Kindergarten (, ; from German [ˈkɪndɐˌɡaːɐ̯tn̩] is a preschool educational approach based on playing, singing, practical activities such as drawing, and social interaction as part of the transition from home to school. Such institutions were originally created in the late 18th century in Bavaria and Strasbourg to serve children whose parents both worked outside home. The term was coined by the German Friedrich Fröbel, whose approach globally influenced early-years education. Today, the term is used in many countries to describe a variety of educational institutions and learning spaces for children ranging from one to seven years of age, based on a variety of teaching methods.

There are vocational schools in the following provinces: Atlantique littoral (city of Cotonou), Oueme Plateau (city of Porto-Novo), Zou Colline (city of Bohicon) Borgou (city of Parakou), Mono Couffo, Atakora, Donga and Alibori. [4]

Grading system

The grading system is from 0 to 20, with 20 being the highest. [4]

Languages of instruction

French, the official language of Benin, is generally the language of instruction.

Leading public high schools

Cotonou: [4]

Porto-Novo: [4]

High School of Application: [4]

Higher education

The government has devoted more than 4% of GDP to education since 2009. In 2015, public expenditure amounted to 4.4% of GDP, according to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Within total education expenditure, Benin devotes quite a large share to higher education: 0.97% of GDP in 2015. [5]

Between 2009 and 2011, the share of young people enrolled at university rose from 10% to 12% of the 18-25 age cohort, one of the highest ratios in West Africa. Student enrollment in tertiary education doubled between 2006 and 2011 from 50,225 to 110,181. These statistics encompass not only bachelor's, master's and PhD programmes but also non-degree post-secondary education. [5]

The National University of Benin system maintains ten branches:

Each branch is headed by a university president. [4]

Some private higher institutions are accredited by the Ministry of National Education. Altogether 94 higher institutions are accredited. [4]

Grading system for thesis defense

Leading private universities

 African School of Economics (ASE)

Related Research Articles

Cotonou Place in Littoral Department, Benin

Cotonou is the largest city and economic centre of Benin. Its official population count was 761,137 inhabitants in 2006; however, some estimates indicate its population to be as high as 1.2 million. The population in 1960 was only 70,000. The urban area continues to expand, notably toward the west. The city lies in the southeast of the country, between the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Nokoué.

Demographics of Benin

The demographics of Benin include population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.

Borgou Department Department in Benin

Borgou is one of the twelve departments of Benin. Borgou borders the country of Nigeria and the departments of Alibori, Atakora, Collines and Donga. The capital of Borgou is Parakou. The department of Borgou was bifurcated in 1999, with its northern territory transferred to the newly created Alibori Department.

With a growing population, Syria has a good basic education system. Since 2000 the Government of Syria has significantly increased the expenditure on education 1 to 6. In 2002, elementary and primary education were combined into one basic education stage and education was made compulsory and free from grades 1 to 9.

Education in the State of Palestine

Education in the State of Palestine refers to the educational system in Gaza and the West Bank administered by the Palestinian Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Enrollment rates amongst Palestinians are relatively high by regional and global standards. According to a youth survey in 2003, 60% between the ages 10–24 indicated that education was their first priority. Youth literacy rate is 98.2%, while the national literacy rate is 91.1% Enrollment ratios for higher education were 46.2% in 2007, among the highest in the world. In 2016 Hanan Al Hroub was awarded the Varkey Foundation Global Teacher Prize for her work in teaching children how to cope with violence.

Education in Lebanon is regulated by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE). In Lebanon, English or French with Arabic are taught from early years in schools. English or French are the mandatory medium of instruction for mathematics and science for all schools. Education is compulsory from age 6 to age 14.

The Benin Premier League, also called Championnat National du Bénin in French, is the highest football division in Benin. The league was held in 1969 for the first time. Currently, it is composed of 14 clubs playing a double round-robin tournament. The winner of the Premier League earns a place in the CAF Champions League. The last two clubs are relegated to Second Division which is composed of 11 teams.

Education in Cambodia

Education in Cambodia is controlled by the state through the Ministry of Education in a national level and by the Department of Education at the provincial level. The Constitution of Cambodia establishes that the state shall protect and upgrade citizen's rights to quality education at all levels, guaranteeing that all citizens have equal opportunity to earn a living. The state shall adopt an education program "according to the principle of modern pedagogy including technology and foreign languages," as well as the state controls public and private schools and classrooms at all levels. The Cambodian education system includes pre-school, primary, general secondary, higher education and non-formal education. The education system includes the development of sport, information technology education, research development and technical education. School enrollment has increased during the 2000s in Cambodia. USAID data shows that in 2011 primary enrollment reached 96% of the child population, lower secondary school 34% and upper secondary 21%.

The University of Abomey-Calavi( Université d'Abomey-Calavi) is the principal university in the country of Benin, in Abomey-Calavi. The school is composed of 19 institutions and six campuses.

Moussa Okanla is a Beninese scholar and diplomat. Okanla was appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government named on June 17, 2007, and was replaced by Jean-Marie Ehouzou on 22 October 2008.

Education in the Gambia

The Constitution mandates free and compulsory primary education in the Gambia, but a lack of resources and education infrastructure has made implementation difficult. In 1995, the gross primary enrollment rate was 77.1 percent and the net primary enrollment rate was 64.7 percent. School fees long prevented many children from attending school, but in February 1998 the president of the Gambia ordered the termination of fees for the first six years of schooling. Girls make up about 40 percent of primary school students, though the figure is much lower in rural areas where cultural factors and poverty prevent parents from sending girls to school. Approximately 20 percent of school-age children attend Koranic schools, which usually have a restricted curriculum.

Outline of Benin Overview of and topical guide to Benin

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Benin:

Education in Morocco

The education system in Morocco comprises pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary levels. School education is supervised by the Ministry of National Education, with considerable devolution to the regional level. Higher education falls under the Ministry of Higher Education and Executive Training.

Religion in Benin religion in Benin

Christianity is the most widely professed religion in Benin, with 48.5% of the nation's total population being members of various Christian denominations. Consequently, it plays an important role in shaping the country's social and cultural life.

Since gaining independence from France in 1956, the government of Tunisia has focused on developing an education system which produces a solid human capital base that could respond to the changing needs of a developing nation. Sustained structural reform efforts since the early 1990s, prudent macroeconomic policies, and deeper trade integration in the global economy have created an enabling environment for growth. This environment has been conducive to attain positive achievements in the education sector which placed Tunisia ahead of countries with similar income levels, and in a good position to achieve MDGs. According to the HDI 2007, Tunisia is ranked 90 out of 182 countries and is ranked 4th in MENA region just below Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan. Education is the number one priority of the government of Tunisia, with more than 20 percent of government’s budget allocated for education in 2005/06. As of 2006 the public education expenditure as a percentage of GDP stood at 7 percent.

Rail transport in Benin

Benin has a total of 578 km (359 mi) of single track, 1,000 mm railway. Rail construction began around 1900, with regular services commencing in 1906; rail operation was taken into government control in 1930.

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in Western Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north; its short coastline to the south leads to the Bight of Benin. Its size is just over 110000 km2 with a population of almost 8500000. Its capital is the Yoruba founded city of Porto Novo, but the seat of government is the Fon city of Cotonou. About half the population live below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day.

The African School of Economics (ASE) is a private university headquartered in Abomey-Calavi, Republic of Benin.


  1. "Benin | Unesco" | United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Benin" Archived 2008-09-06 at the Wayback Machine Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor (2001) Bureau of International Labor Affairs, U.S. Department of Labor (2002, This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.)
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Education: Programs Archived 2008-06-13 at the Wayback Machine . USAID Benin. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM OF BENIN REPUBLIC Archived 2008-07-27 at the Wayback Machine . Embassy of the United States, Cotonou, Benin. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. 1 2 Essegbey, George; Diaby, Nouhou; Konté, Almamy (2015). West Africa. In: UNESCO Science Report: towards 2030 (PDF). Paris: UNESCO. pp. 471–497. ISBN   978-92-3-100129-1.