schools in Africa
Africa, the second largest and second most populous continent, is also home to the youngest population in the world. These young men and women are the future of Africa, but their future is also uncertain. Due to major limitations in education and other mitigating factors, the students of Africa fight an uphill battle to obtain their education.

Here are 10 facts about schools in Africa:

  1. In 2010, there were still approximately 9 million children of primary school age unable to attend schools in Africa due to various reasons.
  2. Girls, nomadic peoples, orphans, children with disabilities, children affected by HIV/AIDS, children affected by armed conflict and children affected by natural disasters are at particular risk of missing out on education. Young girls are in significant danger due to threat of bodily injury and sexual abuse while traveling to and from school.
  3. For every two children who attend school in Africa, one will drop out before graduating.
  4. Approximately 8 of the 10 countries with the lowest primary enrollment rates are in Sub-Saharan Africa. Additionally, 33 million primary school-aged children in Africa do not go to school.
  5. Many schools are located far away from children’s homes. Only 7 in 10 of children who live in rural areas will ever set foot in a school. Secondary schools can only accommodate 36 percent of students of age and qualification.
  6. Regional primary enrollment rates now stand at 89 percent for boys and 86 percent for girls.
  7. Rates for secondary school enrollment are significantly lower than primary schools. Regional enrollment averages 32 percent for boys and 29 percent for girls and many do not actually attend school. Approximately 28 percent of both boys and girls will attend secondary schools in Africa.
  8. Enrollment in percent education programs is expanding throughout Africa. It nearly doubled between 1999 and 2012.
  9. Primary school attendance has more than doubled between 1999 and 2012. Enrollment rose from 62 million to 149 million during this time.
  10. Parents often can’t afford the cost of education, including books, uniforms, and tuition fees for their children to attend schools in Africa. In response, 15 countries have abolished school fees since 2000, enabling more children to attend primary school.


Africa has made significant strides in promoting healthy growth in enrollment. However, there is still much work to be done to ensure that all children in Africa receive quality education.

Drew Hazzard

Photo: Flickr