Education in Cameroon
Joined Commonwealth: 1995
Population: 19,522,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 0.7% p.a. 1990-2009
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 131
Net primary enrolment: 91.6% (2009)
Gross tertiary enrolment: 9.0% (2009)
Adult literacy: 70.7% (2007)
Public spending on education was 3.6% of GDP in 2009. There are six years of compulsory education starting at age six. The gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined was 60.4% in 2009 with a primary female-male ratio of 0.86:1 and a secondary female-male ratio of 0.83:1 (2009). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 46:1 and for secondary is 16:1 (2009). School attendance is lower in the Far North province, where the population is partly nomadic. Some 69% of pupils complete primary school (2008). The school year starts in September.
Many secondary schools are bilingual, with instruction in both French and English. Missionary schools play an important role in the education system and are partly subsidised by the government.
There are state universities at Yaoundé (two), Dschang, Ngaoundéré, Douala and Buéa. The most prominent is the University of Yaoundé, established in 1962, which has four regional campuses. Professional institutes include the School of Administration and Magistracy, the School of Agriculture (ENSA), the Military Academy (EMIA) and the School of Education (ENS). Many private institutions offer tertiary education. The female-male ratio for gross enrolment in tertiary education is 0.40:1 (2009). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 83% (2007).
Cameroon has qualified for the World Bank’s ‘Fast Track Initiative’, which aims at meeting the education Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All goal that all children complete a full cycle of primary education by 2015. The key national objectives of the strategy are universal primary education; revision of school system and curricula to meet the changing economic needs of the nation; and improved governance of the education system.