School and Education in Saõ Tomé and Principe

Officially, the 6-year compulsory school is for anyone aged 7-14. The primary school is 6 years old and the secondary school is 6 years old. About. 20% of the adult population is considered illiterate (2001).

São Tomé

São Tomé, the capital of the eastern state of São Tomé and Príncipe in the Gulf of Guinea; 56,200 residents (2005). The city was founded in 1493 by Portuguese. With the fort of São Sebastião, a baroque cathedral and houses with wooden balconies, it can be reminiscent of a Portuguese provincial town.

School in São Tomé and Príncipe

In São Tomé and Príncipe, children start school at the age of six. School attendance is compulsory for six years. Elementary school lasts that long. 97 percent of the children are in first grade. However, only 79 percent of the children finish primary school. Some children don’t go to school because they work. This affects around 18 percent of children between the ages of five and 14.

Sometimes the parents don’t have the money to pay for exercise books and school uniforms. Another problem is that there are not enough teachers. The classes are often overcrowded and it is not particularly easy to learn.

Sao Tome and Principe Country Flag

São Tomé and Príncipe flag source: Countryaah.com

Children in Sao Tome and Principe

Children in São Tomé and Príncipe usually have many siblings. On average there are four children in each family (4.3). Unfortunately, many families are poor. Then the parents have problems getting their children fed up.

18 percent of children even go to work because of it, so almost every fifth child. Either they work on plantations of cocoa and sugar cane, where they help with the harvest, or they are domestic helpers, sellers in markets or help fishers. For example, some also pick coconuts and sell them to tourists. To do this, they open the coconut with a machete, which is also dangerous.

The children who go to school often still do not receive a good education. They are also not particularly motivated because their incomes are low and job prospects are poor.