The children start the seven-year primary
school at the age of six. After a military coup in 2012
(see Modern History), many schools were closed for
almost a full year. Even then, many schools were closed
due to lack of money and an acute and protracted
political crisis (see Current policy). The crisis has
also hit higher education.
According to the World Bank, 2009/2010 saw about 70
per cent of the children attending compulsory school,
which was a clear increase compared to a few years
earlier. 50-60 percent of pupils who start primary
school complete their studies. Not even a fourth student
goes on to the five-year higher level. More girls than
boys leave school early, because they get married, get
pregnant or because the family lacks money.
Country facts of Guinea-Bissau, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Language of instruction is Portuguese and crioulo.
Textbooks are often missing and there is a great lack of
teachers. The classes are large, with an average of 50
students per class. Many of the teachers themselves have
only primary education. Periodically, the teaching is
down as teachers strike in protest that they have not
received their salaries. It is also common for children
to leave school for part of the year because they are
needed as agricultural laborers. This has led to large
groups of children leaving school without being able to
read, write or count properly.
Formally, the school is free of charge during the
first four years, but there are a number of informal
fees, including for registering students. In some
places, parents are expected to contribute to teachers'
Many Muslims now send their children to Koran schools
in both Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. It appears that the
teachers send out the children to beg on the streets
instead of teaching them.
At independence in 1974, only a few percent of
Guineans were literate. Up to 2012, the proportion of
adults who could read and write had increased to over 50
per cent, but since then the proportion of literate and
literate students has decreased again. Many of those who
can read and write use crioulu or French.
In 1974, there were only 14 academics in the entire
country. Since then, a well-educated elite has emerged,
many of whom have received their university education in
Cuba, France or Senegal in particular. In 2003, the
Amilcar Cabral University in Bissau was founded, which
would, among other things, teach law, medicine, agronomy
and journalism. The same year a private university was
opened in the capital. There is also a private college
in Boé. Two Portuguese universities have branches in
One problem is that many of those who have education
choose to work abroad, especially in Portugal, Cape
Verde and Senegal where wages are higher and working
FACTS - EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary
70.9 percent (2010)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary
Reading and writing skills
45.6 percent (2014)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of GDP
16.2 percent (2013)
Public expenditure on education as a
percentage of the state budget
16.2 percent (2013)
Million amount for reform of the army
Ecowas pledges $ 63 million in support to Guinea-Bissau to reform the army.
N'Tchama is accused of being behind attacks
At the end of the month, Captain Pansau N'Tchama is arrested and accused of
being behind the attack on the military base. He had recently returned from
Portugal where he had received military training.
Ordered murder on Vieira
Just a few days later, the transitional government requests Portugal to
extradite Carlos Gomes Júnior, who is accused of inter alia ordering the
assassination of President Vieira in 2009 (see Modern History). Gomes Júnior
rejects the allegations.
Failed coup attempt
Later, the transitional government describes the event as a failed coup
attempt that Portugal claims was behind, something the Lisbon government denies.
People are arrested after firing
At least seven people have been killed since gunfire erupted around a
military base. Several people are also arrested. The military claims to have
rebelled an attack by rebels. According to media, some of the rebels belong to
the diola group. It is speculated whether the attack was directed at Antonio
Indjai, whose residence is near the facility.
Leaders flee to Gambia
Former Army chief Indata, former Interior Minister Fernando Gomes and former
Election Commission chief Desejado Lima Dacosta flee to Gambia where they are
Troops are taken home
At the end of the month, Angola announces that its troops will be taken home
in early June.
Transitional government is not recognized by the EU
The EU makes a mark by not recognizing the new transitional government,
citing suspicions that the military is still behind the scenes. The EU is also
tightening its sanctions against the country by introducing, for example, an
entry ban to the EU countries for an additional nine people.
Civil Government Requirements
On May 18, the UN, which adheres to the demand for an immediate return to
civilian rule, bans travel for five of the coup leaders, including Antonio
Indjai. Their financial assets are also frozen.
Soldiers occupy Bissau
In the middle of the month, 70 Burmese soldiers arrive in Bissau, and later a
larger group of Nigerian soldiers also arrive. Senegal and Togo will also
contribute with troops. Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo, who came third in the
presidential election with 16 percent of the vote, now agrees to become
president for one year and appoints Rui Duarte de Barros to lead the transition
Agreements are approved by all parties except PAIGC
Later, the junta gives in and promises a return to civilian rule within
twelve months and agrees that a West African force of 600 men should be sent to
the country. The agreement is approved by all parties except PAIGC. Carlos Gomes
Júnior, now in exile in Portugal. claims that he is still the country's
legitimate head of government.
Call for Parliament's extended mandate
At the Ecowa's summit in Dakar in Senegal on May 3, the tone was softened
against the coup makers in Guinea-Bissau and Mali. The West African leaders call
on the Guinean junta to extend Parliament's term of office for one year, appoint
Parliament's new President as interim president , try to win as broad support as
possible for a new prime minister, and elections should be held within one year.
An Ecowas force, ECOMIB, will also be sent to the country to monitor the Angolan
force leaving the country. Ecowa's proposal is rejected by senior PAIGC
The EU freezes assets for junta leaders
The EU imposes sanctions on the six junta leaders, among other things, their
assets are frozen and they are prohibited from entering the EU countries.
Release of Gomes and Pereira
At the end of the month, Gomes and Pereira are released and leave the country
for the Ivory Coast.
Support and assets are stopped
Guinea-Bissau is temporarily suspended from the AU and the World Bank and the
African Development Bank are suspending their support for the country. On April
26, Ecowa announced plans to send 600 soldiers to Guinea-Bissau to "protect
institutions and political leaders." The organization puts the ultimatum to the
junta; if it does not agree to receive the force within 72 hours, sanctions are
imposed on the country. Juntan rejects the proposal, saying that all foreign
soldiers sent to the country will be considered part of an occupation force.
Ecowas decides to impose sanctions on the country, both economic and diplomatic
(what they mean in detail is not yet published). A summit with Ecowa's leaders
is scheduled for the first weekend of May.
Manuel Serifo Nhamadjo refuses to accept post
In retrospect, it appears that several politicians who initially cooperated
with the junta have become doubtful. On April 16, Yalá condemns the coup and
later several other presidential candidates do the same. Juntan appoints Manuel
Serifo Nhamadjo of PAIGC as new interim president on April 20 , but he refuses
to accept the post.
Protest against coup
A national "transitional council" is formed by the junta and a number of
opposition parties, including Yalás PRS (Yalá has close ties to the military and
has been accused of being involved in previous coup attempts). In the days
following the coup, around 300 people gather in Bissau to protest against the
coup and demand a reinstatement of civilian rule. After a period of unclear
information, it appears that the junta has captured Gomes and Pereira.
Military takes power in coup
Angola announces that it will withdraw its military force of 200 men (see
also Foreign Policy and Defense). On April 12, however, the military takes power
in a coup. The military claims to have captured the army chief Indjai. The coup
is condemned by the UN Security Council, the African Union (AU), the regional
cooperation organization Ecowas, the EU, the US and Portugal.
Late on election night, Samba Djaló, former head of the military intelligence
service, is shot to death by a group of men dressed in uniform. However, it is
unclear if it has anything to do with the choice. Djaló had been identified in
connection with the assassination of Na Wai in 2009 (see Modern History) and
belonged to the group of soldiers arrested in April 2010, who were then released
after eight months in custody. Former Army commander Induta is now seeking
protection at the EU office in Bissau.
New presidential election March 18
Presidential elections are announced until March 18, 2012. Gomes resigns as
prime minister in order to stand as a candidate for PAIGC. He receives 49
percent of the vote. This requires a second round of elections between him and
the second of the elections, PRS leader Kumba Yalá. However, he claims that
cheating has occurred and refuses to participate, but his accusations are later
rejected by the Election Commission.
On January 9, President Malam Bacai Sanhá dies at a hospital in Paris. He is
being replaced by National Assembly leader Raimundo Pereira until further