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School and education in Burundi

In Burundi, the education follows a 6-4-3 system, where the primary school lasts for 6 years, the secondary school for 4 years and the secondary school for 3 years. According to UNESCO, in 2008, 13% of the population over 15 years were illiterate.

Basic education

Children start school the year they turn six. In principle, primary school is free and compulsory, but according to the World Bank (2011), only 62% complete primary school. The national language kirundi (rundi) is the language of instruction. French is introduced in the 3rd grade, and French is the language of instruction from the 5th grade.

In the 2010 Education under Attack report, UNESCO describes the extensive recruitment of child soldiers from schools in the country.

Higher education

Université du Burundi, founded in 1964, is the leading university in the country with about 11,000 students. In recent years, four private universities have also been established.

Education in Burundi


Gitega, the provincial capital and second largest city in Burundi; 23,000 residents (2012). The city is home to the Catholic Archbishop, several educational institutions and the National Museum, which houses the country's traditional royal drums. It is a trading town with some industries.

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