School and Education in Guinea

In Guinea, 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 the World Bank, in 2010, 59% of the population over 15 years were illiterate.

Basic education

The official school age is 7 years. Primary school is in principle free and compulsory. In recent years there has been a strong growth in the number of pupils starting school. According to UNESCO, the proportion of seven-year-olds enrolled in primary school has increased from 58% in 2002 to 81% in 2011. All teaching takes place in French.

Higher education

There are universities in Conakry and Kankan. About 11% of the population aged 18-22 received higher education in 2011.

All of 2013 was marked by violence up to the parliamentary elections. It was originally supposed to have been held in May, but was postponed several times and eventually held on September 28. Already in February, the opposition conducted demonstrations because it feared the ruling party would scam the election through inflated electoral lists. The demonstrations cost 50 killed. In July, ethnic clashes cost another 50 killed and in September 1 policeman was killed and 49 civilians injured in clashes in Conakry.

Guinea Country Flag

In the election, the ruling RPG got 53 out of Parliament’s 114 seats. The two largest opposition parties UFDG and UFR got 37 and 10 seats respectively, while the remaining 14 seats were spread across 12 small parties. Both national and international observers noted a large number of irregularities in the elections, both plagued by technical problems, people (from the ruling party) who voted multiple times, threats to voters and minors casting their votes. Still, it was an important choice as it was the first non-boycott of the opposition.

The country was still plagued by widespread human rights violations. Those responsible for the 2009 massacre were not on trial; security forces continued to use overwhelming violence, torture and actual executions of suspected regime opponents; the security forces enjoyed almost total impunity for their assaults; reporters were frequently threatened or bullied by security forces.

2014 Ebola epidemic

In December 2013, a 2-year-old boy in Guinea got Ebola virus. The death was the start of an Ebola epidemic that spread throughout 2014 to all of West Africa. Only in March 2014 did the WHO identify the epidemic as Ebola. By then, 49 people had died, and in May 2014, it reached the capital, Conakry. In previous epidemics, it was possible to isolate the affected areas and thus stop the epidemic, but this was not possible this time as the epidemic hit a region characterized by high mobility. The epidemic therefore spread rapidly to the cities and neighboring countries.

In May, outbreaks seemed to subside and MSF closed one of its Ebola clinics in the first affected area. But in reality, the apparent decline was that the population no longer reported the cases due to widespread suspicion of both foreign and national health professionals. The locals did not think at all that this was a disease, but rather a conspiracy which was to drain the population from blood and harvest their organs. In September, a team of 8 health aides, government officials and journalists were killed with machetes by locals in a city in Nzérékoré province. They were later found in a septic tank.