20 African Countries With Worst Education

1. Niger

Niger, a West African nation with a population of 27 million, faces numerous educational challenges, including socio-economic dynamics, gender inequality, and regional violence. 

Despite free primary education and mandatory schooling, over 50% of children aged 7-16 are not enrolled in schools. Hunger and political instability further hinder educational development, with only 4 out of 10 girls reaching sixth grade. 

Gender inequality, child marriage, and high fertility rates contribute to these challenges, with only 4 out of 10 girls reaching sixth grade. Efforts to address these issues include abolishing child marriages and promoting education for young girls. 

However, child labor remains a prevalent issue, with many children being pulled from school and forced to work due to extreme poverty. Comprehensive and sustained efforts are needed to break the vicious cycle and provide children in Niger with a brighter future. 

2. Chad

Chad’s education system faces challenges such as high population growth, lack of financial resources, poverty, conflict, regional insecurity, and climate change.

To build a resilient system, the government is working with GPE and other partners to improve teacher professional development, optimize teacher management, and address critical factors for better learning.

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However, Chad still faces challenges to achieve goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) due to low schooling, illiteracy rates, and limited access to higher education, technical education, and professional training.

3. Central African Republic

The Central African Republic is grappling with an education crisis, characterized by conflicts, lack of access to quality education, gender exclusion, poverty, and a lack of political will.

Schools are destroyed due to instability, leading to a surge in private schools.

Poor quality education, underpaid teachers, and gender exclusion further exacerbate the issue. Despite the government’s Education Sector Plan, there is a lack of investment in education.

4. South Sudan

South Sudan faces significant challenges in education, with 70% of children aged 6-17 never attending a classroom and only 10% completing primary education.

The country’s educational system follows the (8 + 4 + 4) system, with English as the primary language, but there is a severe shortage of English teachers and English-speaking teachers in scientific and technical fields.

The gender gap between teachers and students, high school student-to-teacher ratio, lack of support staff, and lack of modern technology further exacerbate the situation.

Educational inequalities persist along rural and urban lines, with rural students facing high transportation costs and forced migration.

The 2013 civil war between the Dinka and Nuer ethnic tribes destroyed 800 school buildings, removing vital resources and infrastructure.

5. Mali

Mali’s education sector faces challenges due to security crises, population displacements, and financial crises. Threats against schools, destruction of school infrastructure, and a shortage of teachers are common.

The country is among the three African countries with the most attacked schools, along with Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Education is one of the least funded sectors in the humanitarian response, accounting for only 2% of funds received in 2022.

Inequitable access to and completion of schooling, particularly for girls and children from the poorest families, is a significant issue.

The absence of qualified teachers, textbooks, and low-quality school environments adversely affects learning outcomes, with most fifth-grade students not able to master basic mathematics and reading skills.

6. Guinea-Bissau

In Guinea-Bissau, the literacy rate is low, with only 30% of children starting school at age six. This is due to late enrollment, lack of access to school, insufficient funds, and inadequate teaching materials.

The gender gap in education is significant, with boys 1.5 times more likely to reach grade six than girls.

To improve the education system, UNICEF is working on partnerships, classroom rehabilitation, and establishing standards, such as National Quality Standards and Early Learning Development Standards.

20 African Countries With Worst Education
20 African Countries With Worst Education

7. Burkina Faso

Education is a crucial investment for families in Burkina Faso, but many children are out of school due to poverty, early marriages, and gender-based discrimination.

Without education, children may be forced to work or help with domestic tasks, perpetuating poverty.

In Burkina Faso, access to education is almost impossible due to the humanitarian and security crisis, resulting in the displacement of nearly 2 million people, including women and children. Over 6,200 schools were closed by the end of 2022, making education a luxury for many children.

8. Mozambique

Mozambique’s education sector faces significant challenges due to factors such as gender, disability, ethnicity, indigenous status, poverty, and displacement.

Despite abolishing school fees, providing direct support to schools, and investing in classroom construction, enrollment in primary schools has increased over the past decade.

However, quality and improvement in learning have lagged, and enrollment stagnates in upper primary and secondary schools.

About 1.2 million children are out of school, with the majority being girls, particularly in the secondary age group.

The education sector also has a low quality, with a high percentage of lack of educated teachers and low salaries.

9. Liberia

Liberia’s education system, a Western-African republic, is facing challenges such as corruption, abuse, and a lack of resources. The country’s education system is divided into primary, secondary, and higher education, with schools operated by churches.

However, the lack of access to education is exacerbated by increased gender-based violence, school dropouts, and forced child marriages. The country’s patriarchal nature, coupled with traditional gender norms, has long-term consequences, such as political representation.

Despite international and national legal standards ensuring equal access to education, the current system is unsafe for all students, with a high dropout rate for girls.

10. Somalia

Somalia, a small country in the horn of Africa, faces numerous challenges in its education system. These include the formation of Al-shabaab, frequent wars, overcrowded classrooms, and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The terrorist group, which targets young citizens, often leads to violence and rape, affecting the quality of education in Somalia. Frequent civil wars have further exacerbated the issue, causing displacement and loss of schooling items.

Insecurity has also impacted the education system, with closed roads, explosions, and violence hindering the free movement of students. Teachers are also affected, as they rarely receive their salaries due to unexpected attacks.

Lack of parental guidance and language barriers are also significant issues in Somalia. Many parents lack formal education, making it difficult for them to provide proper guidance and support for their children. The language barrier between Arabic and Somali is another challenge, as textbooks are in English.

Inadequate learning programs and lack of uniformity also hinder the quality of education in Somalia.

Many students receive theoretical learning without practical experience, leading to inadequate knowledge of most subjects. Academic dishonesty and corruption among teachers, including nepotism, further exacerbate the situation.

Financial instability is another significant challenge in Somalia, with many citizens living as internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to harsh security measures. This leaves many less privileged individuals without access to education.

In Our Other News: Ten African Countries With the Most Positive Teaching Environments

20 African Countries With Worst Education

19Democratic Republic of Congo
15Sierra Leone
07Burkina Faso
04South Sudan
03Central African Republic
20 African Countries With Worst Education


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