Education is compulsory for 10 years between the ages of 6 and 16. Primary education is for seven years, and secondary lasts for five years. In 1998, 400,325 Namibians were in primary and 115,237 pupils were in secondary schools. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was estimated at 32 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 80% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 34% of those eligible attended secondary school. There is an Academy for Tertiary Education for adult students. Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 17.9% (males, 17.1%; females, 18.8%). As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 8% of GDP.
A growing number of students have been enrolling in post-secondary education. In 1995, 11,344 students attended tertiary educational institutes, 61% of whom were female.