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Educational attainment, Burkina Faso

Codes and Frequencies

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EDUCBF indicates the person's educational attainment in Burkina Faso in terms of the level of schooling completed.

Comparability — General

Burkina Faso has a 6-4-3 system. Primary education is organized in three sub-cycles of 2 years each one: preparatory (CP), elementary (CE), and intermediate (CM). Secondary education is divided in a first cycle of 4 years (leading to the BEPC degree) and a second cycle of 3 years (leading to a baccalaureate degree, required for university admission).

The samples differ considerably in the amount of detail they offer. The level and highest year attained are available for the 1985 sample and for primary education in the 2006 sample. The highest year attained within level is not available in other cases. Completion of each of the three primary sub-cycles in the 1996 sample is coded as the correspondent primary year (2, 4, or 6). The 2006 census sample reports the current year for persons currently enrolled in primary school, so one year of education was subtracted for this group to indicate completion; those with unknown school attendance are coded as unknown in this variable, even if they report information on educational attainment.

The professional training levels are only identified in 1985. Professional training (technical secondary track) is available to students who completed primary and to those who earned the BEPC after the first cycle of secondary education. This type of education is not identified in the more recent samples, so persons with professional training should have been coded at primary or secondary levels in 1996 or 2006. The 1985 sample also identifies persons who attended Arabic schools and Koranic schools (religious-based education).

The universe for this variable changes across census samples: household residents age 10 or more in 1985, residents age 6 or more in 1996, and persons age 3 or more in 2006.

A harmonized international classification of educational attainment is available in EDATTAIN, which imposes a number of compromises to regularize the data across countries. EDUCBF retains the full detail on educational attainment for the Burkina Faso samples.

The number of years of schooling completed is available separately in YRSCHOOL.


  • Burkina Faso 1985: Residents age 10+
  • Burkina Faso 1996: Residents age 6+
  • Burkina Faso 2006: Persons age 3+


  • Burkina Faso: 1985, 1996, 2006