By Prudence Minayo
Africa’s education system is not the very best as it is not responsive to world dynamics. However, a number of countries in the continent have purposed to offer high quality education to its citizenry producing holistics individuals who can work anywhere in the world. In fact, some higher education institutions in Africa are among the top 100 best in the world. Below is a list of ten African countries that offer quality education to learners.
Seychelles is a small Island country located along the coast of the Indian ocean. It is one out of the two countries in Africa ranked by world Bank as a high-income economy. The nominal per capita GDP of this country is higher than any other African nation. The country gained its independence from the British colonial rule in 1976. The country’s agriculture economy is centred around vanilla, cinnamon, coconuts and sweet potatoes while fish is the main export product. The transparency International report of January 2020 listed Seychelles as the least corrupt country in Africa.
In 1981, free education was introduced to the country. Education is compulsory for all children up to the age of 16 and free secondary up to the age of 18. In 2012, the level of literacy in Seychelles had reached 94%. The population is estimated to be about 98,347 which is equivalent to 0% of the world population. The country has two universities and 33 public schools in the archipelago.
South Africa is the most developed country in Africa and was also the last country in the continent to gain independence. The infrastructure and technology in the country is world class. Not forgetting their wildlife and beautiful sandy beaches. The country also has a rich mining history with nearly 90% of all the platinum metals on earth and around 41% of all the world’s gold.
The education system is divided into three strata: general education and training, further education and training, and higher education and training. The education is compulsory until Grade 9. Grade 10 to 12 is referred to as middle school and subjects tend to favor vocational training.
While education quality is good, there is a lot of inequality in its distribution.
Located in the Northern part of Africa, Egypt is a country with a rich history, culture, culinary, religion and versatile geography. The dominant religion in the country is Islam which is practiced by about 90% of the citizens. It has coastlines on the Mediterranean and Red sea and has the Nile river flowing through its entire length. The beautiful pyramids and rich culture make it a top tourist destination in Africa.
The education system is divided into four levels: pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education. Education is compulsory for eight years between the age of six and fourteen. The system both reflects and augments the socio-economic status of its own people. All levels of education are tuition-free at all government schools and institutions. The public secondary schools are divided into two parts: general secondary education and technical secondary education. To enroll for general secondary education, students must sit for and pass the national exam. For the first two years of secondary school, an exam is given every month then students take a national exam in the final year.
There is also a parallel Islamic education system called Al-Azhar system which consists of: a four year primary stage, a three-year preparatory stage and a four-year secondary stage. The Egyptian universities are ranked among some of the world’s best.
Mauritius is a multi-ethnic society with majority of its inhabitants being descendants of Indians and people from South Asia. The minorities are made up of descendants from Africans, Chinese and Europeans. The population of the country is about 1,271,768. Mauritius lies about 800km East of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. The Island country is almost entirely surrounded by coral reefs, proof of its volcanic origin. The main economy contributors are: manufactured exports, tourism, financial services and agriculture.
The education is divided into: pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary (3-6-5-2). The teaching of English and French are compulsory in all schools. Primary education ends with a national examination. Secondary school is a seven-year study program. The national assessment is carried out in Form III, then students proceed with their subjects of choice. At the end of the 5th year, they sit for the Cambridge School Certificate. Those who pass proceed with the final two years and at the end sit for the Higher School Certificate (HSC) Exam.
Education is compulsory up to the age of 16. Their universities offers one of the best quality studies in Africa.
The country has 63,170 square miles of land and a population of about 11.66 million people. The cultural diversity is epic owing to the periods of Ottoman and French rule. The capital city Tunis is made up of Arab souks and mosques and modem style office buildings. Tunisia is also part home to the largest desert in the world, the Sahara desert and is home to the ancient city of Carthage, founded in the 9th century BC.
Education is a high priority in Tunisia since independence. In the years after independence, it was amongst the countries with the highest investment in education in the region. The Tunisian education system is based upon the Napoleonic model developed by the French. It is free in all its stages and compulsory for children ages between six and fifteen with the main language of instruction being French and Arabic. The school year begins in September 15th and ends on June 30th.
The basic education is divided into two: primary school for six years and preparatory school for three years. After the nine years, students sit for the national exam and successful candidates move to study four years of secondary school. In order to gain entries to public universities, students must pass the examen national du baccalaureate. Those who fail get a completion certificate and can proceed to vocational training or private higher education institutions.
Kenya is an economic giant in the East and Central African region. The country boasts one of the most magnificent wildlife in the continent and also has beautiful white sandy beaches along the coast. Tourism and Agriculture are some of the main contributors to the country’s GDP. Hundreds of thousands of people visit the country to explore the Maasai Mara, Coastal area and the diversified culture. The Agricultural sector produces a vast amount of products including tea, Coffee, maize, avocado, beans, wheat, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, sugar cane, sorghum among others.
The Kenyan education system has improved over the years. Access to primary education is free in public schools and compulsory. The learner spends eight years in primary, four in secondary and four in university. There is also pre-primary education, kindergarten. The 8.4.4 education system was ranked the strongest in the continent by weforum.org.
In 2018, the World Bank ranked Kenya the top African country for education outcomes.
Students sit for two national examinations: the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education after eight years and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education after 4 years. Learners who pass the secondary national examination proceed to universities, either public or private while those who perform moderately proceed to colleges. Others may attend vocational institutions. University students are able to access loans through the Higher Education Loans Board (HELB) for needy cases. The country has public schools, private schools and international schools. Those in international schools follow a different curriculum.
The government has rolled out a new system of education that will require learners to go through six years of primary, six years of secondary and three years of higher education. The new system referred to as Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) its early stages of implementation.
Algeria is known for its hospitality, its Mediterranean climate in the North, and the Sahara, which makes up 90% of the country. The county is predominantly made up of Muslins and has a population of more than 38 million. They have a rich agriculture that consists of growing grapes, oats, wheat, barley, olives and citrus fruits. The country also boasts a number of natural resources including iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, and petroleum products. It is also the largest country in Africa.
Algeria has a literacy rate of 79%. Education is free and compulsory from age 6 to 15 with the main medium of education being Arabic. Secondary is divided into three streams: general, specialized and technical. Algeria has a wide range of universities, and other centers of higher education too including specialized and teacher training institutes.
Located in West Africa, Ghana is a multi national state that is home to a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups. The Akan make up the largest ethnic group. The stock Exchange of Ghana is the 5th largest in the continent and third in Sub Saharan Africa. It is also the world’s second largest producer of cocoa. The country also produces natural gas and petroleum and is the world’s 7th largest producer of gold. It is also the 9th largest producer of diamonds.
The education system is divided into three parts: basic education, secondary education and tertiary education. In high school, students can choose between general or vocational education. To get a degree, one must sit for the West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). A Bachelor’s degree takes four years. The academic year starts in August and ends in May. Ghana has the highest school enrollment rates in Africa with 95% of its children in school.
The country gets its name from one of the oldest deserts, Namib desert. It is home to the world’s largest population of free roaming cheetahs. Nearly 40% of the country is under conservation and the country elected its first female leader in 2015. Saara Kuugongelwa is the country’s fourth prime minister and the first female leader. The country also lays claim to the highest sand dunes in the world and the largest underwater lake.
Education is compulsory for all kids aged between six to sixteen. It is divided into pre-primary education, primary, secondary and tertiary education. In the recent years, both primary and secondary education in government institutions have become free. The government allocated more than 20% of its national budget on education. Secondary education stretches over a period of five years, from Grade 8 to 12. After grade 12, learners sit for the Namibia Senior Secondary School Certificate. They are then presented with a certificate that is either International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) or Higher International General Certificate of Secondary Education (HIGCSE). After this, students proceed to university. The country has two public universities: Namibia University of Science and Technology and University of Namibia. Vocational training is also provided in several institutions.
Botswana gained its independence from Britain in 1966. English is the official language of the country with Setswana being the most common local language. It is close to Zimbabwe’s Victoria falls and also offers amazing safaris. It has a population of about 2 million people and is the world’s biggest diamond producing country in terms of value and second biggest in terms of production. Nearly 80% of the landscape is covered by the Kalahari desert.
Education is free but not compulsory and it mirrors that of the United Kingdom. There is universal access to primary and junior secondary but academic selectivity reduces entrance to senior secondary and university. Primary school is important and the government tries to make it accessible to everyone. Those who pass the Junior Certificate Examination proceed to Senior Secondary education. The major problem is that minimal provisions are made for children with disabilities.