2. The available data show a favorable change in the net enrollment rate for all levels of education, especially primary education which almost reached the established goal.
3. There was a slight increase in the percentage of girls attending school, both in primary education (48.4%) and in secondary education (51%). The percentage of girls in basic education corresponds to half the students at that level. This increase shows that the government’s efforts have created greater equality of opportunity for access to education and its availability, with a view to eliminating gender disparities.
4. The student teacher ratio in primary education is 32. The year 2005-06 saw no departure from the favorable trend in this indicator since 2003, bringing the country very close to the 2015 target of 30.
In basic education, the student teacher ratio (25) reached the target set for 2015 (25), and in secondary education, the ratio (22) fell just short of that goal of 25. We are happy with this achievement. However, the government will have to continue its efforts to improve teachers’ qualifications and consequently the quality of apprenticeship.
5. With respect to the student-classroom ratio, efforts were made to adhere to a regular timetable and eliminate the three-shift system. As indicated by the amounts reported for 2005-06, there were 65 students per classroom in primary education, 58 in basic education, and 65 in secondary education. We can therefore confirm that the government’s actions have to a large extent helped to meet the objectives and strategies proposed for education in São Tomé and Principe and to consolidate efforts to improve access to education and its quality.
6. The student-class ratio, which is an indicator of how many students teachers have under their care, is more encouraging in primary education (39) than at other levels of education— 43 for basic education and 51 for secondary education—and closer to the MDG target of 30. It should be noted that even in primary education, as at the other levels, the values that are close to target show a declining trend, reflecting the fact that demand exceeds supply, especially in basic and secondary education. Therefore, there is a need to continue building more classrooms and schools and increasing the numbers of practicing teachers to meet these needs.
This favorable trend in the indicators is a result of the government’s efforts to:
improve access to education by building and renovating schools and classrooms, providing support to the underprivileged, school transportation, etc.
improve the quality and effectiveness of the teaching and apprenticeship process by formulating and executing and EFA project, training teachers, rehabilitating latrines, and producing school supplies, etc. It should be noted that 22 secondary school teachers were trained and 66 primary school teachers in 2006. Primary school