Madagascar Children and School

By | June 11, 2021

Do the children go to school in Madagascar?

Schooling is compulsory in Madagascar, but not all children go to school and many who go to elementary school do not graduate afterwards. The primary school lasts five years. This is followed by a secondary school of four years and a grammar school with another four years until the children can take the Abitur. That means baccalauréat in Madagascar as in France.

Up to 60 children can sit in one class. In some regions there are even more. Often there are too few school books and exercise books or there are not enough blackboards. Even if the school itself does not cost anything, there are costs for the school uniform and school supplies.

In the following video you can see how difficult it is for children to even go to school. Because the poor education of the children is to blame for the fact that the country is so poor. Tafita is only now going to school.

How do children live in Madagascar?

Since around half of Madagascar’s population lives below the poverty line, this naturally affects the children as well. Many babies and toddlers die, almost half of the children do not get enough to eat and only half of the families have any access to clean drinking water.

Often times, children in Madagascar have many siblings. A family with eight or nine children is not uncommon. But everyone always helps each other, the willingness of the people to help is great in Madagascar.

Child labor in Madagascar

23 out of 100 children work in Madagascar. They work in agriculture, fishing, in the mines and quarries. They are doing work that children should not be expected to do. Officially, children are only allowed to work from the age of 15, but nobody sticks to it. Even small children are often used in the mines because they can crawl more easily through the tunnels. This work often makes the children sick.

Even as domestic workers, you often have to secure the family income in addition. This particularly affects the girls, who are often only seven or eight years old when they come to another family and have to work there.

There is child labor in the country as well as in the city. Parents often move to a larger city with their children, cannot find work there and send the children out to the streets to wash cars, clean shoes or sell cigarettes. They want to earn some money with it. Child prostitution is also widespread.

Madagascar Schools

Eating in Madagascar

Rice in the morning, rice in the evening

As a country located in Africa according to, Madagascar’s cuisine is influenced by many countries and regions, particularly France and India, but also China. The influence of African or Arab cuisine is less significant.

As in Asia, the most important food in Madagascar is rice. By the way, there is already a good breakfast for breakfast. Put sugar on it and a little fruit and the meal is ready. In general, people like to eat sweet at breakfast, including sweet baked goods, for example.

If rice is served with the remaining meals of the day, then there is often chicken, pork or, on the coast, fish. The rice is also often processed into rice cakes, that is the bread of Madagascar. By the way, you can discover twelve types of rice in Madagascar. If there is no rice available, you can also use dishes made from cassava or corn.

Did you know that Madagascar is said to be the country with the highest rice consumption on earth?

Fruit and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are also available in many varieties. By the way, tropical fruits are always eaten with pleasure. Bananas, mangoes, papayas, mandarins or lychee – everything comes fresh from the tree. Madagascar’s climate makes this possible. Coconut palms grow on the coasts in the north and east and so the delicious nuts are also gladly processed here

The Malagasy people also like to drink coffee, which, by the way, is grown in the country itself. Then there is fresh condensed milk.

Cooking on fire

By the way, most of the cooking is done on wood or charcoal. You put several stones in a circle, then the fire burns in the middle and you place the saucepan on the stones. There are also gas stoves in the city, but these are rare in the countryside.

Where does the pepper grow?

Madagascar is often referred to as the spice island. So spices have to grow here too! Has anyone ever wished you “where the pepper grows”? Then he wishes you to Madagascar, which means something like: quite far away. In Madagascar not only pepper grows, but also many other spices such as chilli, ginger, nutmeg, coriander and cinnamon. Even if you don’t necessarily enjoy the food very spicy, it is always spicy. If it’s not enough, you can add a special paste made from chilli, then it should be spicy enough.

By the way, the most famous spice in Madagascar is vanilla, an orchid subspecies that the French brought to Madagascar about a century ago. Vanilla is an important export product for Madagascar.


Vanilla is a very sensitive plant. The flowers, which bloom only briefly, must be hand-pollinated. The plant needs fertile soil and also needs support. She also wants shade. And she definitely doesn’t like the wind. Further processing also requires patience and time and many weeks of hard manual work. In Madagascar it is also called “mora, mora”, which means something like “take it easy”, because that’s what you need if you want to make vanilla.