Which countries in Africa offer free education?

Education situation in Africa (Sub-Saharan)

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

Since independence, many African countries have tried to reform their educational systems. Due to the increase in international development cooperation and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (2000 to 2015) the educational situation could be improved especially after the turn of the millennium.

They are like that Enrollment rates increased and the inequality of the sexes could be reduced somewhat. Still that is Educational situation, especially in West and Central Africa, still problematic. Only around 56% of children in Sub-Saharan countries (49 of the 54 African countries) successfully complete primary school.

To that Development goal no. 4 ("High quality education") the current United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (2015) to be achieved by 2030 for all people "inclusive, equitable and high-quality education as well as ensuring opportunities for lifelong learning “there is still a lot to be done! We at Rainbow Garden Village would like to contribute to this together with you as a volunteer!

Most widespread school system in Africa:

  • Primary School (Primary school): 6 years
  • Junior Secondary School (secondary school): 3 years (concludes with the Basic Education Certificate Examination)
  • Senior Secondary School / Senior High School (University preparation): 2-3 years
  • Higher education (Universities, technical colleges)

There are private and state schools, in some countries also Koran schools. There are usually major qualitative differences between state and private schools. Schooling begins in the Kindergartens and preschoolswhere knowledge is imparted to the children at a simple level.

Challenges in the African education system

Remains in the sub-Saharan countries over a fifth of the children between 6 and 11 years and a third of young people between 12 and 14 years one School education denied. For young people between the ages of 15 and 17, it is even 60% (as of 2016). The reasons for this are numerous:

1. Poverty

The the greatest challenge is poverty. Many families cannot afford school uniforms, books and teaching materials. Orphans are particularly affected. In financially weak families, the children often have to make a living.

2. Unequal gender roles

Schoolchildren often have to look after their younger siblings, leaving no time to go to school. Girls are particularly affected because of the traditional distribution of roles. Often they are also married off early.

Statistics illiteracy / illiteracy rate

countrymaleFemale
Ghana22%35%
Namibia26%22%
South Africa6%8%
Tanzania25%39%
Uganda17%35%
Togo26%52%

3. Schools and teacher shortages

Especially in rural regions, but also in the so-called townships (e.g. in South Africa)there is a lack of schools, so that the pupils have to take a long and sometimes dangerous way to school and therefore often do not walk it. The school buildings are also often poorly equipped, there is sometimes no electricity and sometimes classes have to be outdoors. In recent years this problem has been counteracted in Ghana, for example, by building many schools. But there is a lack of teachers. The teaching profession is due to often unreasonable working conditions unattractive.

Illiteracy is promoted by:

  1. Too few schools in rural areas
  2. Too little budget for school equipment
  3. Too little trained teachers
  4. Childhood poverty and work

4. Lesson organization

The organization of lessons is made more difficult due to a lack of funds. Playful teaching methods are only slowly finding their way into everyday school life. As a rule, the lesson is held frontally. Some educational methods also seem out of date.

Cane as an educational measure
In some of our target countries (e.g. Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda or Togo) the cane is still used today as an educational measure. Of course, we at Rainbow Garden Village do not support this practice - on the contrary! Still, we need this fact to some extent accept it as a cultural difference. If you, as a RGV volunteer, observe a situation in which a student is punished with a cane, try to be sensitive to it. Never criticize the teacher directly or openly in front of the class - this is completely counterproductive and can make the student's situation even worse. You can show your displeasure with your facial expression or when you leave the room. But you should leave it at that.

5. Foreign language as the language of instruction

In many countries the culturally determined Linguistic diversity is an obstacle, which is why the Language of instruction mostly English or French (e.g. in Togo) is. Many children come into contact with this foreign language for the first time in elementary school - a great challenge!

6. Early school leaving

In addition, many children drop out of school prematurely. The Majority of them are girls. For example, they have to give up their schooling in favor of their brother or because of marriage, pregnancy or lack of sanitary facilities. Another problem is the spread of HIV / AIDS. Many children have to have theirs care for sick parents or become orphans.

The consequences of the educational situation

The consequences of the lack of education in Africa are extreme poverty and high unemployment, Malnutrition and diseases caused by a lack of education.

Why is it necessary to promote education?

Education is that Key to getting out of the spiral of poverty. Children can only have one later if they are educated Opportunity in the job market and real prospects for the future. On top of that, in schools too vital awareness education takes place, for example through hygiene, preventive measures against HIV / AIDS and a balanced diet.

A bigger investment in education in Africa can have far-reaching implications for people Development of the country to have. Statistically speaking, girls who have completed schooling in adulthood have fewer children later and less. This leads to a slowdown in population growth in the long term.

In addition, through education, the spread of diseases is reduced and child mortality is greatly minimized. Education also contributes Promotion of equality of girls and boys. This can bring a greater participation of women in economic and political decisions with it and give them new choices and courses of action as well more self-determination open.

Why volunteer?

As a volunteer at an African school, you can use your commitment to Improvement of the educational situation contribute. You relieve the local teachers, so that the quality of teaching increases. In addition, you can use your own suggestions in the longer term to more varied and interactive lessons contribute.

Volunteer Projects and Internships: Teaching in Africa and Asia

RGV editorial team 2015 (updated November 2017)