The structure of the educational system is characterized by the colonial past. The French-speaking eastern part of the country has a six-year primary school, followed by a secondary school for four years plus three years of high school. The English-speaking section has a six-year primary school, supplemented with a five-year plus two-year secondary school. In 2008, 88% of the children in the relevant age group underwent primary school. However, the proportion of girls is lower than the proportion of boys. French and English are the language of instruction, and bilingualism, which is enshrined in the Constitution, is sought as part of national unity. Over half of primary schools are run and funded by the state. The rest are private with some government grants. More than half of secondary schools are private.
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The country has seven state universities, as well as several private. Reading and writing skills among adults (over 15 years) were estimated at 71% in 2007 (79% for men and 63% for women). In 2009, 19% of government spending went to education.
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Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon; 2.4 million inbids (2012); the city is growing very rapidly by the migration of the country’s overpopulated areas into the mountains. Yaoundé is located on a hilly plateau 200 km east of the port city of Douala. The climate is relatively cool as the city is approximately 750 m asl, and the French colony administration chose the site for capital in 1922; originally the city had been built in 1888 under the German colonial rule.
Yaoundé is especially an administrative and commercial city and has only a modest industry. As in many other African metropolitan areas, there are several partially racially divided urban neighborhoods; most whites live in Bastos, while neighborhoods like Messa and Mokolo are mostly inhabited by blacks. Attractions include a Benedictine monastery with a museum of local art, and outside the city are a number of caves, Akok-Bekoe.