La République Gabonaise (The Republic of Gabon) is located at the equator in western Africa and is bordered by Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, the Republic of the Congo, and the South Atlantic Ocean. The population is 1,485,832 and the literacy rate is 72%.
The earliest inhabitants of the area of present day Gabon were the Pygmy. The Bantu tribes replaced the Pygmy as they migrated to the area. In the 15th century, the first Europeans arrived in the area and, in 1875, Pierre Savorgnan de Brazza, an explorer from France, led the first French exploration. In 1885, Gabon became a French colony. In 1910, it became one of the territories of French Equatorial Guinea. Gabon gained independence from France on August 17, 1960.
École Primaire (Primary school) is 5 years beginning at age 6. Upon completion, students are awarded a Certificat d'Études Primaires Élémentaires (CEPE).
Premier cycle secondaire (Lower secondary school) is offered at colleges. It is 4 years and students are awarded a Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle (BEPC).
Following lower secondary school, students have a choice of vocational, technical or academic upper secondary school. Vocational upper secondary school is 3 years and is offered at a lycée d'enseignement technique and, upon completion, students are awarded a Brevet de Technicien. Enseignement Secondaire technique (Technical upper secondary school) is also 3 years and, upon completion, students sit for the Baccalauréat Technique examination. Deuxième cycle secondaire (Academic upper secondary school) is offered at a lycée d'Enseignement general. It is a 3-year program and students select an academic stream. The streams are mathematics, natural sciences, humanities, economics, and science and technology. Students sit for the baccalauréat examination upon completion of studies. Students who have completed all years of upper secondary school, but who do not pass the baccalauréat examination, are awarded a Certificat de Fin d'Études Secondaires.
First Cycle, Academic
First-level university studies are 2 years and lead to the Diplome Universitaire Technologie (DUT), Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG), the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Littéraires (DUEL) for students in the arts and humanities, the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Scientifiques (DUES) in the sciences, the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Juridiques (DUEJ) in law, and the Diplôme Universitaire d'Études Économiques (DUEE) in economics. All of these programs require a baccalauréat for admission. Students who hold a Baccalauréat Technique can complete either a 2-year Capacité en Droit (Qualification in Law) or a 2-year Brevet de Technicien Supérieur (BTS). Engineering programs are 5 years long following a baccalauréat and lead to the Diplôme d'Ingénieur.
Second-level university studies are 1-2 years long. The first diploma is the licence which is 1 year long and requires a first-level diplôme for admission. The maîtrise is 1 year and requires a licence for admission and a defense of thesis.
Doctoral studies are 2 or more years and require a maîtrise for admission and a dissertation defense.
Primary school teachers are trained at teacher training colleges in a 4-year program following lower secondary school. Upon completion, students are awarded a Certificat d'Aptitude Pédagogique. Lower secondary school teachers are trained at the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Higher Teacher Training School) following the baccalauréat. The program is 3 years and leads to the Certificat d'Aptitude Pédagogique des Collèges d'Enseignement Général (CAPCEG). Upper secondary school teachers are also trained at the École Normale Supérieure in a 5-year program which leads to the Certificat d'Aptitude au Professorat de l'Enseignement Secondaire (CAPES). Technical upper secondary school teachers are trained at the École Normale Supérieure d'Enseignement Technique (Higher Technical Teacher Training School) leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude Pédagogique des Lycées Techniques.