Understanding Cameroon Educational System


Education System in Cameroon

I - Two Sub-systems of Education

Cameroon is a lone bilingual Country situated in sub-Saharan Africa with a population of over 22 million. Cameroon being a bilingual country has two educational sub-systems: English Sub-system inherited from Britian and the French sub-system of education inherited from France, both being the colonial masters of Cameroon.


  Education School/Level Years Notes
  Primary Primary 6  
  Middle Middle School    
  Secondary Secondary 7 Anglophone: 6+5+2; Francophone: 6+4+3
  Vocational Vocational    
  Tertiary Undergraduate 3 License, Bachelor's
  Tertiary Graduate (Master's) 1 Maitrise, Master's
  Tertiary Graduate (Doctoral) 4 Doctorat d'état (Doctor), Doctor of Philosophy

Primary Education In Cameroon

Education in the West African country of Cameroon is compulsory through to age 14 when 6 years of primary schooling are complete. Unfortunately parents are expected to pay for uniforms and book fees, which no doubt contributes to a 67% literacy rate that’s skewed in favor of males.

Secondary Education In Cameroon

There are 2 separate secondary schooling systems depending on whether the French or British colonial models apply. In broad terms though, the secondary phase comprises a lower and an upper level. For the majority of young people this distinction remains academic, because their parents are unable to afford secondary school fees at all.

 Vocational Education In Cameroon

Vocational training is the responsibility of the ministry of employment and vocational training. Challenges faced include reaching out to youths who are unemployed, and see little hope of any formal work.

Tertiary Education 

All but one of 7 universities teach in French, with the British-modeled University of Buea being the single exception. State control is strict and the minister of education is chancellor of all 7. Unfortunately, many students join the brain drainafter graduating, and the community at large receives little benefit for all the effort. 

 The English-medium University of Buea was founded 1985 on the back of extensive education reforms. Its departments include engineering, technology, arts, education, natural and social sciences, and agricultural medicine.



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