School and Education in Republic of the Congo

Training

The education system in Congo is heavily French-influenced. The 10-year compulsory undergraduate education has a six-year first and a four-year second stage. The latter is divided into a general education and a vocational line. The secondary school is three years old, divided along the same lines. The state took over all private schools in 1965, which led to a sharp increase in the number of students at the higher levels, especially on the general education lines. However, since 1990, private education has been allowed again. Congo’s only university was founded in Brazzaville in 1971. However, many study at French universities. Illiteracy in the adult population in 1995 was 25.1% (16.9% for men and 32.8% for women).

After the Civil War 1997-99, the school system was in great need of reconstruction. Still only about 2/3 of the children in primary school start, where the proportion of girls is about the same as the proportion of boys. In secondary school, however, the boys are in the majority. There are no current statistics on literacy.

Republic of the Congo Country Flag

Republic of the Congo flag source: Countryaah.com

Republic of Congo Foreign Policy

The Republic of Congo formerly belonged to the radical states of Africa and in the 1980s had good relations with the Soviet Union and Cuba. In the 1980s, Congo improved relations with its more conservative neighboring countries Gabon, Cameroon and DR Congo. The country also made connections with Israel and Morocco. Congo played an active role in the negotiations leading to an agreement on Cuban withdrawal from Angola and independence for Namibia; the so-called Brazzaville agreement.

Angola’s relationship was put to the test during the civil war in the 1990s, when Angolan forces supported Denis Sassou Nguessou; Angola accused the Lissouba government of supporting the Angolan rebel movement UNITA as well as separatists in the Cabinda enclave. In 1999, the heads of state in the two Congo states and Angola agreed on a common policy to deal with the conflict in their respective countries, and signed a cooperation agreement. In 1998, the Republic of Congo and DR Congo had signed a non-aggression agreement. In 2003, the Republic of Congo contributed military forces in the multinational African peacekeeping force to the Central African Republic.

Congo has had a particularly close relationship with the former colonial power France, which is by far the largest economic partner, both for trade and development aid. There are also substantial French interests behind the country’s significant oil recovery.