La République de Guinée (The Republic of Guinea) is located in western Africa and is bordered by Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the North Atlantic Ocean. The population is 9,806,509 which includes 24 ethnic groups. The literacy rate is 29.5%. French is the official language, and Fula, Maninka, Susu, Arabic, Insula, Kissi, Kpele, Loma, Pular are also spoken.
The area of present-day Guinea was part of the Ghana Empire beginning in 700 BC. By 1235, it was part of the Mali Empire. Between 1460 and 1470, Portuguese explorers arrived in the area. By 1890, Guinea had become a French colony and, in 1895, it was incorporated into French West Africa. On October 2, 1958, Guinea became the first French colony in Africa to gain independence.
Education is compulsory from ages 7 to 13. École primaire (Primary school) is 6 years beginning at age 7. Upon completion, students are awarded a Certificat d'Études Primaires Elémentaires (CEPE).
Collège d'enseignement général (Lower secondary school) is 4 years and leads to the Brevet d'Études du Premier Cycle (BEPC).
Vocational upper secondary school is 3 years and leads to the Brevet d'Études Professionnelles (BEP). Academic upper secondary school is also 3 years. At the end of the 2nd year, students sit for the Baccalauréat Première Partie (Baccalaureate First Part) examination and the Baccalauréat Deuxième Partie (Baccalaureate Second Part) examination after the 3rd year.
Currently, the Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche Scientifique is responsible for Guinea's higher education system.
First Cycle, Academic
First-level university programs are 2 years and lead to the Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG).
First Cycle, Vocational/Technical
Post-secondary technical training is offered at national professional schools. They offer 3-year programs leading to the Brevet de Technicien Supérieur.
Second-level university programs include the Diplôme d'Ingénieur which is 2 years and the Licence which is 1 year. Both programs require a Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG) for admission. Following the Licence are the Maîtrise and the Diplôme d'Études Supérieure (DES). Both programs are 1 year. Graduate programs are 1-year and, upon successful defense of a thesis, students are awarded a Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA).
Doctoral programs are 3 years following the Diplôme d'Études Approfondies (DEA). Upon successful defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Diplôme d'États de Docteur.
In 2003, 2 new graduate programs were created: the 2-year Mastère which follows a Diplôme d'Études Supérieure (DES) and the 3-year Doctorat which follows a Mastère.
Primary school teachers are trained at école normales d'instituteurs (ENI) (teacher training schools) in a 3-year post-secondary program leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude à l'Enseignement Élémentaire (CAEE). Lower secondary school teacher must hold a Diplôme d'Études Universitaires Générales (DEUG). They are trained through one year of in-service training. Upper secondary school teachers must hold a Maîtrise and complete a one-year program at the Institut Supérieur des Sciences de l'Éducation (Higher Institute of Education Sciences). Vocational secondary school teachers are trained in a 2-year program at the École Normale de l'Enseignement Technique (Technical Teacher Training School) leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude à l'Enseignement Professionnel (CAEP). Technical secondary school teachers are trained in a 1-year program at the École Normale de l'Enseignement Technique (Technical Teacher Training School) leading to the Certificat d'Aptitude à l'Enseignement Technique (CAET)).