Read about the curricula, exams and tests commonly encountered at international schools, including the UK and US systems, International Baccalaureate and International Primary Curriculum.
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Mali’s capital Bamako is home to two long-established international schools: one that prepares students for the American high-school diploma and one that offers the French Baccalaureate. Today, the International Baccalaureate Diploma is also on offer in the city, after a new high school was launched in 2018 by Enko Education group.
The French-medium Lycée Français Liberté De Bamako, which was founded in 1960, is the largest international school in the Francophone African country, with 1,400 students on roll across its primary and secondary departments. But the small American International School of Bamako, which was set up in 1977, attracts children of more than 35 nationalities with its English-medium education from pre-kindergarten to grade 12.
Several preparatory schools following French or American curriculums also operate in the city. Bamako International Academy, which takes children from pre-kindergarten (pre-K) to grade 8, and Grace International School, which runs from pre-K to grade 3, are both modelled on independent schools in the United States. The French-medium Ecole Maternelle Les Lutins offers three years of kindergarten and five years of primary schooling.
Enko Bamako International School, which admits students aged 12-18, offers a bilingual education in English and French and entered its first cohort of students for the IB Diploma programme in September 2019. Enko Education, which operates 15 schools across seven African countries, aims to prepare African students for the world’s top universities, while charging affordable fees.
Education is compulsory from age six to 17 in Mali, which is one of the world’s poorest countries. But following six years of ethnic conflict, civil unrest and terrorism, more than two million children were out of school in 2018, while 50 per cent of young people aged 15-24 were illiterate. Gross secondary enrolment was 41 per cent, while net primary enrolment was 59 per cent.