Education in Cameroon

Joined Commonwealth: 1995

Population: 21,700,000 (2012)

GDP p.c. growth: -0.2% p.a. 1990–2012

UN HDI 2012: World ranking 150

Net primary enrolment: 91.5% (2012)

Net secondary enrolment: 41.5% (2011)

Gross tertiary enrolment: 11.9% (2011)

Adult literacy: 71.3% (2010)

Public spending on education was 3.2 per cent of GDP in 2011.

Cameroon Vision 2035 expresses the aspirations of Cameroonians to be a united nation enjoying peace and security; democracy; decentralised administration; prosperity; and universal access to quality social services.

There are six years of compulsory education starting at the age of six. Primary school comprises six years and secondary seven, with a first cycle of four years. School attendance is lower in the Far North province, where the population is partly nomadic. Some 69.8 per cent of pupils complete primary school (2011). The school year starts in September. Many secondary schools are bilingual, with instruction in both French and English. Faith schools play an important role in the education system and are partly subsidised by the government.

The public universities are University of Yaoundé (founded in 1962); the University of Douala (1977, Coastal Province); University of Ngaoundéré (1982, Adamaoua Province); University of Buea (1992, South-West Province, English medium); University of Dschang (1993, West Province); and the University of Maroua (2008, Far North Province). The most prominent is the University of Yaoundé, which now comprises two separate universities on several campuses (University of Yaoundé I and University of Yaoundé II). The École Normale Supérieure of University of Yaoundé I is the leading school for teacher education. The many private institutions offering tertiary education include the Catholic University of Central Africa (1989, Yaoundé); Bamenda University of Science and Technology (1995, North-West Province); and Université des Montagnes (2000, Bangangté, West Province). The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 0.7:1 (2011). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 80.6 per cent (2010).