International Review of Education

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 631–653 | Cite as

Lifelong learning as an instrument for human capital development in Benin

  • Idowu BiaoEmail author
Original Paper


A review of the Benin education system shows that it is still heavily school-based. Yet, a high level of wastage is currently being recorded at school level (about 50% success rate at primary level, about 40% success rate at high school level and about 1% enrolment rate of qualified candidates and success rate at tertiary level), leading to the unintentional creation of a large population of unskilled and unproductive youths and adults. Integrated education systems which hold great potential and opportunities for both initial and continuing education remain hardly explored and virtually untapped. Yet, the challenges of the 21st century are such that only the unveiling and continuous cultivation of multi-faceted human capital can help individual citizens lead both a productive and fulfilled life. Formal education alone or non-formal education alone, irrespective of how well each is delivered, is no longer sufficient in facing up to the multifarious challenges of the 21st century. If education is to serve Benin beneficially in this century, the current national system of education must be reoriented to free up citizens’ human capital through the implementation of an integrated educational system. This article proposes a new national education system which is rooted in the concept of lifelong learning and combines formal and non-formal systems of education for Benin.


Lifelong learning Human capital Human capital development Proposed education system Benin 


L’apprentissage tout au long de la vie, instrument de développement du capital humain au Bénin – Une étude menée sur le système éducatif béninois révèle que celui-ci s’appuie encore fortement sur l’enseignement scolaire. Cependant, le taux élevé d’abandons actuellement enregistré par les établissements (taux de succès d’environ 50 % au niveau primaire, 40 % au niveau secondaire, taux d’inscription de candidats qualifiés et de succès de 1 % au niveau universitaire) engendre l’apparition non désirée d’une importante population de jeunes et d’adultes non qualifiés et improductifs. Les systèmes éducatifs intégrés, qui renferment de vastes potentiels et opportunités pour l’éducation initiale et continue, sont encore à peine explorés et quasiment inexploités. Pourtant, les défis du XXIe siècle sont tels que seule une culture révélatrice et permanente d’un capital humain aux multiples facettes peut aider chaque citoyen à mener une vie à la fois productive et épanouie. L’éducation formelle à elle seule, ou l’enseignement non formel à lui seul, indépendamment de la qualité de leur mise en œuvre, ne sont plus suffisants pour faire face aux nombreux défis du XXIe siècle. Pour que l’éducation puisse être salutaire au Bénin au cours de ce siècle, le système éducatif national actuel doit être réorienté pour libérer le capital humain des citoyens par le déploiement d’un système éducatif intégré. L’auteur de cet article propose un nouveau système éducatif national ancré dans le concept de l’apprentissage tout au long de la vie et associant les systèmes d’éducation formelle et non formelle du pays.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Adult EducationUniversity of BotswanaGaboroneBotswana

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