Education in Togo
The educational system of Togo is patterned on the French model that has the three levels of primary, secondary and higher education. The primary education is free and compulsory for children six years of age, and lasts for six years. The secondary education follows the primary level and is offered for 12-year old children and consists of two cycles of four years for the first, and three years for the second cycle for a total of seven years. Higher education is offered in universities and colleges that have programs of study leading to baccalaureate and master’s degrees. Among these institutions are the University of Lome, which was founded in 1970 and has schools of humanities and sciences; the University Institute of Technology; and the University of Kara, which was founded in 1974 and offers various courses of study.
The abolition of school fees in the primary schools in 2008 was a welcome development in the country, especially for parents and children who used to pay at least US$4 per day per child for school fees, which had impeded the goal of education for all. The United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has partnered with the national government and local agencies to ensure free access by children to free and quality education at the primary level as it continues to provide financial and technical support. To benefit every child in Togo, UNICEF also finances a study on the impact of the abolition of school fees, with the results and recommendations that can be used to help the government to implement a program of reforms for the basic education in the country.