La République du Benin (The Republic of Benin) is located in Western Africa and is bordered by Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and the Bight of Benin. The population is 8,532,547 and the literacy rate is 34.7%. French is the official
language, but Fon, Yoruba and at least 6 tribal languages are widely spoken.
The history of Benin can be traced back to the Kingdom of Dahomey that was formed in the 15th century. It was a regional power in Africa, and many slaves were shipped from the area. In 1892, France gained power in the Kingdom, and Dahomey became a region
in the French West Africa Colony. Dahomey was granted independence on August 1, 1960. In 1975, Dahomey became known as Benin.
Currently, the education is free and compulsory from ages 6 to 12, but attendance at school is not enforced. École primaire (Primary school) is 6 years beginning at age 6 and leads to the Certificat d'Études Primaires (CEP).
Lower secondary school offers vocational and general tracks. Vocational école technique (lower secondary school) is 3 years and leads to the Certificat d'Aptitude Professionnelle (CAP). Vocational lycée technique (upper secondary school)
is 3 years and leads to the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire Technique or
the Diplôme de Technicien Industriel (DTI).
L'enseignement secondaire general (General lower secondary school) is 4 years and leads to the Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle (BEPC). General upper secondary is offered at lycées. It
is a 3-year program and, at the end of the 3rd year, students sit for an external examination leading to the Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire.
Higher education in Benin is currently overseen by the Ministère l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique.
First Cycle, Academic
First-cycle university programs require a Baccalauréat de l'Enseignement Secondaire for admission. They are 2 years and lead to the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Littéraires (DUEL) in the humanities, the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Scientifiques (DUES) in
the sciences, and the Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG) in
law and economics.
First Cycle, Vocational/Technical
Post-secondary vocational programs are 2-3 years. Two-year programs lead to the Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS) or
the Diplôme Universitaire de Technologie (DUT).
Three-year programs lead to the Diplôme ďEtudes Techniques Supérieures.
Second and Third Cycle
An additional year of study following these programs leads to the Licence.
A Maîtrise is
awarded after one year of study following a Licence. Graduate programs are 1 year and require a Maîtrise for admission. Students in management, the arts and humanities are awarded a Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA), and students in demography and natural resources are awarded
a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (DESS).
Doctoral programs are not currently offered.
Both primary and lower secondary school teachers are trained in a 3-year program at an école normale intégrée (ENI) (integrated teacher training school) leading to a Certificat Elémentaire d'Aptitude Professionnelle (CEAP)/ Certificat d'Aptitude Pédagogique (CAP). Admissions to these
programs, per level of teaching, varies. Primary school teachers are required to have a Brevet ďEtudes du Premier Cycle (BEPC) for admission while lower secondary teachers must have a Baccalauréat for admission.
Lower secondary school teachers can also complete a 3-year program leading to the Brevet d'Aptitude au Professorat de ľEnseignement Secondaire (BAPES) at
the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) (Higher Teacher Training School). Upper secondary school teachers are also trained in a 3-year program at the École Normale Supérieure (ENS) leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat de l'Enseignement Secondaire (CAPES). Both of these
programs require a Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Littéraires (DUEL) or a Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Scientifiques (DUES) for admission.