1.5 Privatisation The adoption of a cost containment strategy is a key factor in explaining the privatisation of education at higher levels beyond basic education.
“As regards the disengagement of the State from the education sector in Burkina Faso, the World Bank has pronounced in favour of increased privatisation, particularly downstream of basic education, i.e. at the secondary, secondary-technical and higher education levels.”24 As apparent from Table 2.5 below, at the start of the 1999/2000 academic year there were 212 public establishments (i.e. state schools) and 196 private ones in secondary education.
Table 2.5: Number of primary and secondary education establishments in Burkina Faso (1991-2000)
Sources: DEP25 MEBA
At the start of the 2000/2001 academic year, 60% of the 11,000 students following technical and vocational courses were enrolled in private establishments (data from National Education Conference).
As for higher education, the 1994 National Consultative Assembly on Education listed one (1) public higher education establishment (the University of Ouagadougou) and three private establishments (specialising in information technology, office administration and equipment maintenance respectively). The 2002 National Education Conference listed three public establishments (the University of Ouagadougou, The Polytechnic of Bobo-Dioulasso and the “Ecole Normale” of Koudougou) and eleven private ones. It should be noted however that, in terms of capacity, the balance is in favour of public education.
It is apparent from Table 2.5, furthermore, that privatisation also affects primary education. At the beginning of the 1999/2000 academic, there were 521 private schools, compared with 146 in 1990-1991.
In 1994-95 four students in five were enrolled in public establishments, i.e. 84.4% compared with 15.6% in the private sector (including 9.25% non-denominational, 0.8% Catholic, 0.63% Protestant and 4.70% Medersa)26.
Table 2.6 below shows that the number of private primary schools is increasing more rapidly in the towns and cities, such as Ouagadougou, where even some public sector teachers prefer to enrol their children in private schools27.
Table 2.6: Breakdown of personnel in the jurisdiction of the Ouaga 8 Inspectorate28 from 1993 to 2004