Officially, it is compulsory for all children to attend school for eight years, but the education sector is facing enormous problems as a result of political unrest and armed conflicts. There is a shortage of both money and educated teachers.
The school starts at the age of six. The first stage comprises six years and the subsequent stage seven years. More than nine out of ten children start first grade, but many are forced to leave school early, primarily to contribute to the family’s livelihood through work. Only one fifth of the students start at the higher level.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Central African Republic, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
The shortage of teachers is chronic and the majority of those who work as teachers lack vocational education. Low or missing wages are a reason for the teacher shortage. Another is the AIDS epidemic that has harmed so many deaths that the newly graduated teachers are not enough. The number of pupils per teacher is among the highest in Africa.
The chaos and refugee flows of recent years also make it difficult to organize teaching. The 2012 wave of violence (see Modern history), according to the UN Children’s Fund Unicef, led to seven out of ten children not returning to school when the new semester started.
The crisis for the school system has led to a very low level of education. Almost four out of ten adults can read and write, and the proportion is equally low among younger people.
Higher studies are conducted at the country’s only university in Bangui. There are also four colleges. Many academics in the Central African Republic have educated themselves in France.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Central African Republic in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
68.1 percent (2012)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
36.8 percent (2010)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
7.8 percent (2011)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
7.8 percent (2011)
At least 30 dead in unrest in Bangui
Fighting between militiamen and shop owners in the PK-5 district of Bangui requires at least about 30 lives. The unrest is triggered when merchants take to arms in protest of the militia starting to demand a new tax, according to an imam from the area quoted by the AFP news agency. Between 40 and 50 stores must have been burned down in connection with the violence. PK5 is now dominated by Muslims who took refuge there in connection with previous years’ fighting.
Bozizé back in CAR
Former President François Bozizé returns to his home country after six years in exile. It announces representatives of his party National Assembly Movement Kwa Na Kwa, prompting speculation about whether he intends to take part in next year’s presidential election. In 2013, an international arrest warrant was issued for Bozizé, which is accused of crimes against humanity , among other things . When he makes his first public appearance a few days later, he is met by thousands of followers.
At least 38 dead in new battles in the Northeast
At least 38 people are killed in fighting between two militia groups, the Central African Republic’s rebirth (FPRC) and the Central African Freedom Fighters for Justice (MLCJ) movement, in the city of Birao, in the northeastern part of the country, near the border with Sudan. Both groups participated in and signed the peace agreement in February this year (see February 2019).
The UN facilitates the arms embargo
The UN decides to ease the arms embargo on the Central African Republic. This means that the country’s defense forces can procure weapons of a certain caliber (14.5 mm or less) if they alert the UN at least 20 days in advance. According to the rules, no weapons may be resold to a third party. Russia, which on two occasions has previously been authorized to sell weapons to the Central African Republic, says it wants to see further relief in the arms embargo, and that this will possibly be discussed in early 2020.
The rebel leader leaves the government
Mahamat Alkatim, leader of the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC), and one of the country’s most influential warlords, leaves his post as military adviser to the government. He justifies the decision that his opportunities to carry out his mission, to form new security forces where the government army and former rebels will cooperate, are small. The work was crippled earlier in August when the government demanded that the former rebels be disarmed before being allowed to join the new forces, while the rebel leaders demand that they be given accommodation before they give up their weapons, something that is lacking.
Fighting breaks out between UN force and FDPC militia
Struggles break out between soldiers of the UN force Minusca and the FDPC militia. According to the UN, at least five rebels have been killed, but according to the FDPC, only three have been lost. Minsuca is said to have launched an offensive against the militia group after setting up roadblocks at Zoukombo, along the only road link between Bangui and Cameroon, and for stealing a number of pickup trucks. The FDPC is one of the 14 militia groups that in February entered into a peace agreement with the government.
Three militia leaders become military advisers
Three militia leaders are appointed special military advisers to the government. The three are Ali Darassa, from the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC), Mahamat Alkatim, the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC), and Bi Sidi Souleymane, from Group 3R. They will help the national army to maintain security in the country. Another MPC leader Adama Chaibou is assigned to manage contacts with the Arab world.
The FDPC jumps off the peace agreement
Abdoulaye Miskine, of the Central African People’s Democratic Front (FDPC) , who was offered a post as Minister of Modernization , refuses it, saying that there will be no participation in government work as long as there is no change in the top ministerial posts. At the same time, the FDPC withdraws its support for the peace agreement.
New settlement completed according to AU
The Central African government and 14 militia groups agree on a new agreement to create a more “inclusive government”, the African Union (AU) announces . Later it is announced that four people from the militia groups will be given new ministerial posts, including responsibility for modernizing the country.
Militias require a new government
Eleven of the 14 militia groups that signed the peace agreement in February now demand that the prime minister be replaced. They say they lack confidence in the current head of government Firmin Ngrébada, and believe that a national unity government should be formed. They also want to negotiate directly with President Faustin-Archange Touadéra. At the same time, they state that the peace agreement is still valid and that the new government is the problem. Those who have not signed during the uprising belong to the FPRC, which is one of the three groups formed after Séléka disbanded, and two anti-balaka groups.
Disengagement threatens the peace agreement
4th of March
One month after the last peace agreement was signed, it risks collapsing. Discontent rises to the surface after Prime Minister Firmin Ngrébada presented the new government. The Central African People’s Democratic Front (FDPC) and the People’s Front for the country’s rebirth have decided to leave the government. However, it is unclear if this also applies to the entire peace process. The Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC), which is one of the largest militia groups, requires the government to change its stance if it is to remain and the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) says the militia is no longer behind the peace agreement. At the same time, Ngrébada emphasizes that the government already has 36 members and that there is no room for all 14 militia groups to be able to get five ministerial posts.
New government ready
Firmin Ngrébada presents its new government, where representatives of several militia groups will now participate. However, no major changes are made to the heavy items. Maxime Mokom of the anti-Balaka militias takes charge of disarming the rebels, Souleymane Daouda of the Union for Peace in Central Africa (UPC) takes care of livestock issues, while Hamza Guismala of the People’s Front for the country’s rebirth is responsible for the development of energy and hydropower. Adama Chaibou of the Central African Patriotic Movement (MPC) becomes Minister of Modernization and Bertin Béa of former President François Bozizé’s party Kwa Na Kwa gets public service. Six of the 14 militia groups that signed the peace treaty receive no ministerial posts at all, including the Movement for Central Africa’s Freedom Fighters for Justice (MLCJ), from the north of the country. The rebel groups had also demanded that the head of government be taken from their ranks.
Firmin Ngrébada is appointed new head of government
Simplice Sarandji resigns as prime minister. He will be replaced later this month by Firmin Ngrébada, who has close ties to President Touadéra. He also led the Central African delegation at the Khartoum peace talks in Sudan, which led to the latest peace agreement. He was also Prime Minister under the rule of President François Bozizé.
New peace agreement signed in Bangui
Central African government and 14 armed groups agree on peace agreement after mediation by African Union(AU) after an 18-month negotiation period. It is the eighth attempt to broker peace in the conflict that has now been going on for over six years. Under the agreement, a national unity government is to be formed to bring together all the country’s political and social movements and a new prime minister to be drawn from the rebel side (a name already circulating: Moustapha Sabone from one of Séléka’s factions). The rebels have wanted the agreement to open for a general amnesty, but the government has said no. Instead, a body of “transitional justice” must be created within 90 days, where those who have committed serious crimes must be brought to justice, while those who have committed minor crimes should be granted amnesty. Under the supervision of Minusca, army brigades will also be formed, which include both government soldiers and rebels, who are given the task of disarming rebels and helping them to reintegrate into society. All parties agree to respect the constitution and the laws of the country and not to try to take power or retain it by means of violence. An executive committee will also be set up where the government, the militia and the AU are represented and will meet at least once a month.
Ready for peace talks in Khartoum on January 24
AU announces that peace talks between the Central African government and various militia groups in Khartoum, Sudan, will start on January 24. They are part of an African initiative to create peace in the Central African Republic. Seven peace agreements have been signed since 2012, but none of them have lasted for some time. The process began in July 2018 and since then the AU has compiled the demands that the armed groups make to agree on a new peace agreement. A particularly difficult issue to solve is the militia’s demand for an amnesty for the abuses committed during the conflict, as this is rejected by the government.