Primary school students lining up for class in Cape Verde
Teachers' Training College in Praia.
Primary school education in Cape Verde is mandatory between the ages of 6 and 14 years and free for children ages 6 to 12. In 1997, the gross primary enrollment rate was 148.8 percent. Primary school attendance rates were unavailable for Cape Verde as of 2001. While enrollment rates indicate a level of commitment to education, they do not always reflect children’s participation in school. Textbooks have been made available to 90 percent of school children, and 90 percent of the teachers have attended in-service teacher training.
Although most children have access to education, some problems remain. For example, many students and some teachers speak Cape Verdean Creole at home and have a poor command of Portuguese (the language of instruction); there is insufficient spending on school materials, lunches, and books; and there is a high repetition rate for certain grades.