Gabon Children and School

By | June 19, 2021

School in Gabon

In Gabon, schooling is compulsory for children between the ages of six and 16. The primary school consists of six classes, the secondary school of seven years. These seven years are divided into four years to graduate from school and a further three years to graduate from high school. As in France, it is called baccalauréat here.

Teaching is in French, the official language in Gabon. This is very difficult for many children at first because French is not their mother tongue. At home they speak one of the Bantu languages ​​of the many ethnic groups that live in the country. There are more lessons in French and math than in other subjects. English is the first foreign language. The students usually wear school uniforms. Often the classes are very full.

Not all children who would have to go to school actually go to school. The school enrollment rate is now quite high at around 94 percent. But there are also children who go to school but then at some point no longer go to school. In Gabon, for example, 20 percent of children between the ages of five and 14 work. Some work before or after school, but others don’t go to school at all. It is often more difficult in the country than in the city, where there are more schools that are also easier to reach.

Child in Gabon

Of course there are families in Gabon who are doing well. They have enough to eat and the children go to school. If they get sick, they go to the doctor and can afford it.

But not everyone feels that way. There are also many poor people in Gabon. Sometimes children are born with too little weight. Then they often do not develop as well and always remain smaller or sickly. Unfortunately, the overall risk of getting sick is great. Malaria is common, as are yellow fever and cholera. About five out of 100 children do not even live to be five years old.

As in most African countries, child labor is a problem. At 20 percent, the value in Gabon has even risen again in recent years.

As a country located in Africa according to, Gabon is also a country to which children from other, even poorer countries such as Togo, Benin or Nigeria are abducted. There they then have to toil as housemaids or work in the market.

Thousands of child slaves live in Gabon in Central Africa. They were brought here from poorer West African countries and work for families in the house or in the market as porters and traders – mostly they don’t get any wages. The government has now started a training program for social workers, police officers and lawyers in cooperation with the UNICEF children’s aid organization.

Gabon Schools

Eating in Gabon

What do you eat in Gabon?

Yams, cassava, rice and plantains are staple foods in Gabon. Fish is often added on the coast and meat is eaten all over the country. Chicken ends up on the plate especially often because it is the cheapest. But also pork, goat and, more rarely, beef are on the menu of Gabonese.

Always a pleasure to eat: cassava

In Gabon, like in neighboring countries, cassava is one of the most important foods. The tuberous roots are harvested from the cassava plant. They are very nutritious because they are high in starch.

Gari is also made from cassava. The cassava is peeled, ground, dried and then fried. This creates a white powder that has a long shelf life. When you want to eat it, you stir it back to a pulp with water. You can also add sugar, peanuts or corn flour.

What is Nyembwe?

Nyembwe refers to a sauce in Gabon or the dish that is eaten with this sauce. It is considered the national dish of Gabon. The main ingredient you need is the fruit of the oil palm. The outer shell of this is used to make palm butter. This is called Nyembwe in Gabon.

Another ingredient for the dish is peanuts or peanut butter. For the dish you still need meat, mostly chicken is used. Then the whole thing is also called Nyembwe Poulet, because poulet means chicken in French.