Education is felt to be very important in Togo. The Togolese government has built primary
schools all over the country, and 70% of children in Togo spend at least five years in
primary education. The authorities would like to provide free schooling, but do not have
enough money, so parents have to pay fees. The annual cost per child is around £15, a
considerable sum in a country where unemployment levels are very high, wages are low and
people may go for months without receiving their wages. Many thousands of Togolese parents
cannot afford to send their children to school.
Most of the schools in Togo are state schools, but
there are also private schools, run by Christian or Islamic organisations, or by
individuals (usually former teachers). Some of the private schools in Lomé have excellent
facilities and provide a first-rate education.
The secondary schools in Togo follow a
similar curriculum to those in France and French is the language used in school (at
primary level children are taught in French and the local tribal language). Only a small
proportion of Togolese children go to high school.
Most of the schools in Togo have little in
the way of equipment, no electricity, and the language spoken in the classroom is the
second or even third language for most children. Despite these difficulties, literacy
rates are among the highest in Africa.