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For a better education system?

A new Malagasy law on the general orientation of education has just been promulgated. The first measure in force this year: the official examinations for the CEPE (Certificat d'Etudes Primaires Élémentaires) and the BEPC (Brevet d'Etudes du Premier Cycle du Second degré) will be free of charge.

The other key measures will be implemented gradually:

  • Schooling will be compulsory from the age of 5 (instead of 6), until the age of 15: 1 year in pre-school, 6 years in primary and 3 years in secondary.

  • The primary cycle will consist of 6 years (instead of 5). A certificate assessment (replacing the CEPE) will be taken at the end of of the 6th year (instead of at the end of CM2).

  • Middle school will be one year shorter (3 years instead of 4). The BEPC will be taken at the end of the third year (instead of the fourth).

According to the World Bank, 40% of children drop out of school before the end of the primary cycle and 96% of Malagasy children aged 10 are unable to read and understand a text appropriate to their age.

Will this law transform education in Madagascar? How will families in great difficulty keep their children in school? What resources will be allocated to schools to absorb the surplus of students? What will happen to teachers' salaries and teaching materials? So many questions remain unanswered at the moment.


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