Education Systems in Africa Part XI: Comoros

Education is compulsory in Comoros for children aged 6-16 years. The government is currently pursuing a number of initiatives designed to provide better access to education for all citizens; enrollment and literacy rates are rising.  Comoros’ system follows the French educational model; French is the official language of education but there are also many traditional Islamic schools.

Preprimary education is not obligatory and is provided by private preschools. Primary education begins at age 6, 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.

The first cycle of secondary school is obligatory and lasts 4 years, after which students may specialize in literary, scientific or technical studies for either two or four years. Some students choose a two-year technical/professional path while others pursue a four-year baccalaureat with the goal of post-secondary studies.

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 French, Arabic, mathematics, geography/history, science, technology and the environment, civics, and Islamic studies. Physical education and art are also offered.

Secondary curriculum includes French, Arabic, English, history/geography, mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, and physical education. Business track students study accounting, management, marketing and clerical skills. Vocational courses in agriculture are also offered.

Higher education in Comoros is provided by the public University of Comoros and a number of technical and professional schools offering business, health sciences, teacher training and agriculture programs.