République du Congo/Repubilika ya Kongo/Republiki ya Kongó (The Republic of Congo) is located on the southwest coast of Africa and is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, and South Atlantic Ocean. The population is 3,903,318 and the literacy rate is 83.8%. French is the official language with Lingala and Monokutuba as the languages of trade.
The first inhabitants of the area of present-day Congo were the Pygmies. They were followed by the Bantu. The first European exploration of the area was by the Portuguese in the 15th century. In 1880, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza of France signed a treaty with the ruler of the Bateke people which established the French Congo. In 1905, it was renamed the Middle Congo. In 1910, along with Gabon and Ubangi-Shari, it became French Equatorial Africa. On August 15, 1960, Congo declared independence from France and became the Republic of Congo.
Education in the Republic of Congo is free and compulsory from the ages of 6 to 16. École primaire (Primary school) is 6 years beginning at age 6. At the end of the 6th year, students are awarded a Certificat d'Études Primaires et Elémentaires (CEPE).
Lower secondary school offers academic and technical tracks. Collège d'enseignement general (Academic lower secondary school) and Collège d'enseignement technique (technical lower secondary school) are 4 years. Upon successful completion of the 4 years, students are awarded a Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle (BEPC).
Vocational upper secondary school is 3 years. Upon successful completion of the program, students are awarded a Brevet de Technicien. Lycée technique (Technical upper secondary school) is 4 years. Upon completion of the program, students sit for the Baccalauréat Technique examination. Lycée d'enseignement general (General upper secondary school) is 3 years. Upon completion of the program, students sit for the Baccalauréat examination.
There is one public university in the Republic of Congo: Université Marien Ngouabi, which has several faculties and institutes. The Université Libre du Congo is the first private university in the country. Currently, the Ministère de ľEnseignement Supérieur oversees the country's higher education system.
The first cycle of university studies is 2 years and leads to the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Générales (DUEG), the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Littéraires (DUEL) in the arts and humanities, or the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Scientifiques (DUES) in the sciences. A one-year program leading to the Licentiate requires a DUEG, the DUEL, or the DUES for admission. The Maîtrise is a one-year program requiring a Licence (Licentiate) for admission.
Second and Third Cycles
Graduate level programs leading to the Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA) are 1 year and programs leading to the Diplôme d'Études Supérieures (DES) are 2 years. Both programs require a Maîtrise for admission. Doctoral programs leading to the Doctorat are 3 years and require a Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA) for admission.
Primary school teachers are training in écoles normales d'instituteurs (ENI) (teacher training colleges) in a 3-year program following a Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle (BEPC). Lower secondary school teachers are trained in a 2-year program leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat dans les Collèges d'Enseignement Général (CAP de CEG).
Upper secondary school teachers are trained in a 1-year program leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat dans l'Enseignement Secondaire (CAPES). This program requires a Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat dans les Collèges d'Enseignement Général (CAP de CEG) for admission.
Technical upper secondary school teachers are trained in a 1-year program leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat de l'Enseignement Technique (CAPET) which requires a Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat dans les Collèges d'Enseignement Général (CAP de CEG) for admission.