Educational challenges in Madagascar

Written by Belise Hirwa

Edited by Adekanmi Adediran


In the early 90’s, Malagasy form of education was highly decorated with the low management and demoralization that was portrayed by both teachers and parents. Public schools were mainly affected by being closed hence interference with the normal schooling program. The political coup that was faced in Madagascar in 2009 is among the factors that decreased international aid hence affecting the economic states. Considering as Education provides humankind with information, knowledge, skills and ethics to know, understand and respect our duties towards society, families and nation, and helps us progress further.  Education is a way of life where one can learn and share knowledge with others. As quoted by the late Nelson Mandela “Education is the great engine of personal development.

It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mine worker can become the head of the mine that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. The current educational system in Madagascar is composed of five mandatory years in primary school and an extension of seven years in secondary school which is divided into two, the junior year of four years and three senior years.File:Students doing group work with slates in Antsiranana Madagascar.JPG – Photo source

Among the challenges that the education system in Madagascar experience are,

Covid-19 aftermath

The virus resulted to poor educational development across the globe. In Madagascar it was no exceptional, school dropouts was recorded highly during the pandemic. UNESCO reported that the number of dropouts in Madagascar were at a higher rise within the pandemic. Senior secondary being the most affected group.

Gender Inequality

Boys are rated to drop out of schools especially in primary schools, meanwhile girls have been recorded to drop out starting at the age of fifteen and older. This is caused by poverty among the households of these children. Other households are faced with either disabilities or orphans’.

Extreme poverty

Madagascar is one of the poorest countries globally. Due to poor economic growth most Malagasy children have not set foot in classrooms. This has forced most children to grow up being responsible for their families at early ages.

Most of these children grow up as herders and engaging in agricultural activities especially among boys. Early marriages is experienced at high levels, girls are set up for unexpected marriages hence early pregnancies.File:Ecoles Afrique Madagascar 1.jpg – Photo source

Low qualification of teachers

One of the core causes of the poor quality of education in Madagascar is the low quality of teachers due to the teacher recruitment process, which does not focus on selecting professional education personnel but instead on meeting the demands of civil servants.

Existence of community teachers paid by parents have a significant influence on non-enrollment and dropout of students. In 2016 UNESCO Institute for statistics presented a ratio of 7 qualified teachers among 40 students. Teachers tend to lack formal education in especially public schools.

According to World Bank four out of ten pupils in primary schools drops out before completing the last stage in that level.

Poor Educational Facilities and Infrastructure

Poor school facilities and infrastructure quality are also part of Madagascar’s education challenges. The schools that do exist are unable to cope with the demand for places, and often lack basic water or hygiene facilities and even furniture.

Uneven access to the internet, and discrepancy in teacher qualifications and education quality, appeared as the biggest challenges in implementing distance learning. Remote learning for young children and the diversity of the country’s digital access levels cause further inequalities for marginalized children.


Focused development initiatives can strive to ensure access to quality education for all, provide a bright future for Madagascar’s youngest generation, and strengthen continuing education opportunities.


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