** Ivorian Ivory Coast schools Ivorian education

Ivorian Education

Figure 1.--This French postcard is dated 1912 and shows a Koranic school in Ivory Coast. We assume that means a madrasa attached to a local mosque. We believe that the curriculum center primarily of learming to read and write Arabic and to recite Koranic verses. As a result, this photograph could wasily have been taken centuries earlier.

The Ivory Coast / Côte d'Ivoire was within the borders of various African states like the Ghanian and Mali Empires . One would think there might have been some kind of scgools for the elites and merchant families. We have, however, not information on early schools and the societies were preliterate. We believe that the first formal schools in the Ivory Coast came with Islam, in part because early Ivorian civilization was pre-literate. We believe the first schools were Islamic madrasas attached to mosques. We know little about these schools, but believe they primarily taught the boys (no girls allowed) to read and write Arabic and recite Koranic passages. Perhaps readers will know more about these schools. The Islamic influence was especially strong in the north. As a result of colonizatiion, most Ivorians are now Christians. It was French missionaries who introduced the first schools with a secular curriculum to what is now the Ivory Coast. The French Government eventually began founding schools, espcially after World War II. After independence, Ivorian officials continue an education based on the French system and taught in French. Primary education in today free, although families usully have to provide school supplies and equipment to their children. Primary school (6 years program) is compulsory. Uniforms are not compulsory. We are not sure if this saves money or winds up costing more. Only a fraction of the children continue their education to secondary school. There is pressure for children to drop out of school and help support the family, either with farming and household activities. There is a substantial education gap for girls, a situation found in many African countries. Secondary school enrollment rates are especially low for girls. Among younger Ivorians (the 15-24 year-old cohort), over 70 percent of young males are literate. Only about 60 percent of females are litrate. The 2002 civil war and recent unrest has disrupted school attendance and adversely affected the education of many. The press reports, "Some 800,000 children in Ivory Coast have missed out on school since the outbreak of violence following last year's disputed presidential election. In the western regions of Moyen Cavally and 18 Montagnes, where fresh fighting erupted on Tuesday, some 180,000 children are losing out on their education and most teachers have been absent since November. 'We know from experience that when children’s education is disrupted in a situation like this, they are less likely to go back to school once the crisis is over,' said Guy Cave, Ivory Coast country director for Save the Children."


Fominyen, George. "Ivory Coast violence keeps children out of school - UN, " AlertNet (February 25, 2011).


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Created: 1:13 AM 4/6/2013
Last updated: 1:13 AM 4/6/2013