* school educatiomn : Guinea Bissau

Guinea Bissau Schools

Figure 1.--This photo was taken at a village school in Bafatá region, Guinea Bissau. It was a extremnely basic school, taken during the independence war (1969). We can see some Portuguese soldiers who were probably the teachers. Here the children have clothes. Other photographs from Guinea Bissau show children attending sdchool without clothes.

Guinea Bissau is asmall West African country wedged between Senegal and Guinea. It was an ijmoortanter enrerport in the slave trade. The country's name comes from the name of the capital--Bissau. The city which is located on the Geba River estuary, off the Atlantic Ocean. The estuary provided needed anchoeages for the slavers and the Geba River access to the interiors where africans were being captured. Portugal made no real effort to develop the colony. Few schools were ooened until the indeoendence struggle began and the Portuguese began opening schools to imoprive their iamge. The country became indeoedent after a left-wing miliraty coup (1974). Upon liberation from Portuguese rule in 1974, the Partido Africano da Independencio da Guine e Cabo Verde or PAIGC (African Independence Party) established broad educational goals for the country that included the elimination of illiteracy, free compulsory education. The Government made very little progress toward that goal,. The country was very poor and the Proruguese had done very little to create an education system. Economic progress after independence was very limited, in part because of the autoritarian and socialist orientation of the new government. Cuba was a major influence which hardly argued for economic success. This affected the country's ability to fund an educational system. Education is legally compulsory from age 7 to 14 years, but many children still do not attend school. Only a little more than half of all children enter primary school. And only about a uarter complete the basic first 2 years. As a result of this adult illiteracy remains very high, especially among the women. Schools now exist in many rural areas, but facilities are very basic. Rural teachers tend to be poorly trained. The country in recent ygears with ecinonomic reforms has reprted important progress (2010s). More children are now attending school and for longer periods.


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Created: 7:48 PM 12/12/2020
Last updated: 7:48 PM 12/12/2020