Education Systems in Africa Part X: Chad

Chad’s constitution guarantees every citizen the right to a free public primary education. While the country’s literacy rate, especially for girls and women, remains low, Chad’s government and its development partners are pursuing reforms designed to improve its education system. Chad’s follows the French educational model; most schools teach in French, although some offer instruction in Arabic.

Preprimary education is not obligatory and exists mainly in Chad’s larger cities. Primary education begins at age 5 or six, lasts six years, and is offered by both public and private schools. At the end of their sixth year students earn a certificate of completion (Certificat d’etudes fondamental, or CEP) and sit for exit exams to determine their placement in secondary school.

Secondary school is provided by both public and private institutions, and after two years of general education, students may pursue one of three tracks: literature, science, or technical/business.

The following chart depicts the grading scale for secondary and post-secondary institutions:

Scale

U.S. Grade Equiv.

14.00-20.00

A

12.00-13.90

B+

11.00-11.90

B

10.50-10.90

B-

10.00-10.40

C+

10.00-10.30

C

9.00-9.90

C-

8.00-8.90

D

0.00-7.90

F

Primary students study speaking, writing and reading in French, as well as arithmetic. History, geography and natural science lessons begin in the third year of primary school, and some students also study civics and practical subjects including animal husbandry.  A few schools offer English at the primary level.

Secondary students’ curriculum includes French, English or Arabic, history/geography, mathematics, physics, biology, geology, and chemistry. Physical education and philosophy are also taught. Business track students study accounting, management, marketing and clerical skills.

Higher education in Chad is provided by both public and private institutions. The University of Ndjamena is the main public university, offering degrees in the arts and sciences, law and economics; others include the King Faisal University and the Institut Universitaire de Gestion, a vocational college offering a variety of two and four-year business and technical degrees.