The rate of illiteracy in Niger is among the highest in the world. The lowest is literacy among the country’s women. The school duty covers eight years on the paper and the children start school at the age of seven.
The first basic stage covers six years. Subsequently, there are two additional stages of four and three years respectively. Only just over 60 percent of all children start school, more boys than girls. The drop-offs are many as the children often need to help to cope with the family’s livelihood. Just over ten percent of the students start at the continuation stage.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Niger, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Some children attend Muslim Quran schools and there are private schools for a small number of students who can afford. Even fewer go on to higher education.
Teaching is conducted in French, Hausa and some local languages.
The education sector suffers from a constant shortage of money. There is a shortage of classrooms, materials and the number of teachers is not enough. Strikes are common among teachers and students in protest of missing wages and student support. The universities are sometimes closed as a result of such unrest.
There are five universities / colleges in the country. In Niamey the State University of Niamey and outside the capital there is a Muslim university, Université Islamique de Say. Most of those who go abroad for higher studies are in France.
- Andyeducation: Introduction to education system in Niger, including compulsory schooling and higher education.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
65.4 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
30.6 percent (2012)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
16.6 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
16.6 percent (2017)
The Constitutional Court declares the President’s office vacant and calls on Members to elect a new President within 15 days. The post has been unmanned since Hama Amadou fled the country after being suspected of being involved in a smuggling operation with infants (see September 2014).
Niamey’s policy cut is dismissed
Niamey’s mayor dismisses the entire capital’s police force of just over 200 people. The reason is that police officers clashed with soldiers in a strike that was held in protest of poor working conditions. For the time being, the military assumes responsibility for maintaining the order in Niamey.
Tandja is charged with corruption
President Tandja, who was deposed in the military coup in 2010, is charged with corruption. The case concerns the equivalent of $ 800 million that disappeared from the Treasury but which Tandja claims was in the Treasury when he was overthrown.
Amadou is being arrested for child smuggling
Hama Amadou, the Speaker of Parliament and leader of the opposition party Moden, is arrested in his absence for suspicion of conspiracy with a league that smuggled Nigerian infants to rich couples in Niger and Benin. Amadou has left the country and is reported to be in Belgium. In the past, 17 people have been arrested in the smuggling operation, including twelve women. One of them is Hama Amado’s wife. The children should have been picked up from Nigerian “child factories” where young girls sell their newborn children to childless couples. The children are smuggled out of Nigeria with the help of fake birth certificates.
Protests against prosecution
Thousands of people gather on Niamey’s streets in protest of six opposition politicians being prosecuted for the attacks in the capital a month earlier (see May 2014). The protesters demand that the defendants be released.
Attacks on the PNDS headquarters
Concerns are spreading in the capital Niamey when a MP’s residence is shot and the ruling party PNDS headquarters call fire with fire bombs. Six politicians with close ties to the fashion leader Hama Amadou are arrested for involvement in the attack. Amadou is President of Parliament and is expected to challenge Issoufou in the 2016 presidential election.
Boko Haram is suspected of terrorist plans
About 20 suspected members of the Nigerian Islamist extremist movement Boko Haram are arrested in southern Niger. They are accused of planning terror attacks in the city of Diffa near the border with the Nigerian state of Borno, where fighting is ongoing between the Islamists and the Nigerian army.
G5 Sahel is formed
Niger, together with Burkina Faso, Mauritania, Mali and Chad, form a new organization called G5 Sahel, which aims to strengthen cooperation on development and security in the Sahel region. The headquarters is located in Mauritania’s capital Nouakchott.