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Ivory Coast Education Facts


The children start six-year primary school at the age of seven. Six children out of ten attend elementary school, but fewer than half continue to the two higher stages of four and three years respectively. More boys than girls go to school. Nine-year school duty was introduced in 2015.

The funding of the education system is insufficient: the premises are poor, the classes are large (over 40 on average, but sometimes they can consist of up to 100 students), books are often missing, the teachers are poorly educated and the quality of teaching has deteriorated in recent years. Many teachers have died of AIDS and many children are forced to leave school early to work. Plans to build new schools were put on ice when the Civil War broke out in 2002 (see Modern History). During the war many schools were closed, especially in the north, and the whole school system was hit hard.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Ivory Coast, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.

The state schools are free of charge, but students have to pay for teaching materials. Families with good incomes prefer to put their children in private schools. Most of these are run by the Catholic Church. In the north there are also plenty of Koran schools.

Literacy has increased since independence, but still just over half of adult men can read and write, for women the proportion is lower.

There are three universities, two in Abidjan and one in Bouaké. The Université de Cocody in Abidjan has branches in several cities. Many Ivorian youth study abroad, mainly in France.

  • Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Ivory Coast.


Proportion of children starting primary school

86.0 percent (2017)

Number of pupils per teacher in primary school

42 (2017)

Reading and writing skills

43.9 percent (2014)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP

18.7 percent (2017)

Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget

18.7 percent (2017)



UN force is withdrawn

June 26

The UN force Unoci ends its mission in the Ivory Coast.


Ghana wins sea rights dispute with Ivory Coast

November 23

The International Maritime Law Court ruled in favor of Ghana in a dispute with the Ivory Coast over where the boundaries of the countries’ economic zones should go (a coastal state’s economic zone is the off-coastal area where the country in question has the right to extract natural resources). Ghana, which is already drilling for oil in the disputed oil and gas-rich sea area between the countries, is now entitled to continue. After the verdict, both countries announce their intention to respect the ruling.

Henriette Diabaté becomes the new leader of RDR

September 10

President Ouattara offers some surprises when his party’s Republican Assembly (RDR) holds congress in Abidjan. This is partly because he himself does not run for party leader, which is seen as a clear signal that he does not intend to run for re-election in 2020. The post goes instead to the former minister, the 82-year-old Henriette Diabaté. The second highest post in the party hierarchy goes to Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly, whom many see as Ouattara’s “crown prince”.

The magazine Africa Confidential speculates that it was the president’s wife Dominique Ouattara who exerted her influence. Women make up almost half of RDR’s Board of Directors.

Gbagbo supporters are accused of violent violence

September 8

People loyal to former President Gbagbo are accused of being behind a series of raids against police posts and prisons, according to information from the Ivorian Interior Ministry. The two people who are particularly highlighted are Gbagbo’s son-in-law Stephane Kipré and Damana Pickass, who previously had a leading role in the Young Patriots.

The purpose of the attacks is, according to Interior Minister Sidiki Diakité, to create concerns that may threaten the stability of the country in the long run. 35 people have been arrested accused of being behind the violence. In connection with the latest attack on a prison, in early September, 98 prisoners managed to escape, but 44 of them, according to authorities, must have been arrested again.

Boubakar Koné, leader of the CPI, denies that there is anything in Diakité’s tasks.

Media also draws attention to the gangs that the Ivorians call daily microbes, which are behind a series of violent incidents in Abidjan.


The Reconciliation Commission is closed

July 4th

The Reconciliation and Compensation Commission (RCC) is closed down. In 2015, RCC replaced a former Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and has been tasked with identifying victims in the long conflict and paying damages to them. However, RCC has only paid out money to 5000 people. RCC’s task will now be taken over by the Ministry of Solidarity.


The myth is interrupted

May 16

The rebellious soldiers sign a new wage agreement with the government and cancel the mutiny that has been going on for four days.

The myth continues

15th of May

Firearms are breaking out in several cities, among them the largest city of Abidjan, despite the fact that the army leadership claims to have launched a counter-attack against the mythists. In Bouaké, one person is killed, but in most cases it is believed to be soldiers demonstrating their dissatisfaction with shooting in the air.

New soldier myth

May 14

Insurgent soldiers block the access roads to the country’s second largest city of Bouaké in protest of not getting promised pay raises. They also prevent civilians from protesting the soldiers’ myth. At a similar mutiny in January, the soldiers should have been promised the equivalent of 18,000 euros each, which they now claim they did not receive. The lump sum is seen as part of the government’s effort to modernize the military, which requires, among other things, that several thousand men, among them the majority of former rebels, should be engaged. Six civilians are injured in Bouaké and other cities during the unrest associated with the mutiny.


Journalists are released

February 15

The three journalists arrested on February 12, suspected of having spread false information, are released after three days. However, they say they still run the risk of being arrested again and brought to trial.

Journalists are accused of spreading “fake news”

February 12

Six journalists, including three newspaper owners, are arrested on charges of spreading false information about the latest uprising within the country’s military elite. They are accused of having disseminated information that encouraged the soldiers to revolt. Among those arrested are people linked to opposition newspapers Le Temps, who, among other things, question the legitimacy of Ouattara as president, and Notre Voie, who has close ties to the FPI. According to highly regarded military sources, the elite soldiers should have “apologized” for their behavior.

Settlement clear between government and elite force

February 8

Soldier uprising is suspended after a few days after the government concluded a settlement with members of the country’s elite force. All outstanding salaries and bonuses must be paid out on February 13.

New soldier rebellion

February 7

Soldiers from an elite unit responsible for the president’s security rebel and accuse their commanders of having stolen parts of their salaries. According to a soldier quoted by the BBC’s internet site, he had only received the equivalent of $ 80 a month, despite the salary being $ 400. The soldiers are stationed at a naval base in the city of Adiake, near the border with Ghana, and in Tengrela near the border with Mali. The government is opening negotiations to try to resolve the crisis (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).


Soldiers in new protests

January 17

New protests are reported to have erupted in the capital Yamoussoukro, Abidjan and in the cities of Man and Daloa in the west. This time, soldiers belonging to paramilitary forces are protesting. They are said to demand similar bonus payouts promised to the soldiers in the army. Four soldiers are killed as soldiers approach a relocation belonging to the Republican Guard. The soldiers must also have stolen cars and broken into two police stations to steal weapons.

Change of Prime Minister post

January 10

Daniel Kablan Duncan resigns as head of government and is replaced by Amadou Gon Coulibaly, who previously served as advisor to the president. Shortly thereafter, Kablan Duncan was appointed Vice President of the country. The number of ministerial posts falls from 35 to 28.

Soldier rebellion begins in the north

January 6

A riot among soldiers begins in Bouaké and spreads to several other cities. In Abidjan, the insurgents take control of the army headquarters. The soldiers demand increases in pay, better housing and faster promotions. The situation calms down after the government concludes an agreement to improve soldiers’ living conditions.

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