Although education is free and compulsory between the ages of 6 and 13, there is still a considerable degree of illiteracy. In 2000, illiteracy was estimated at 33% total (males, 26%; females, 40%). In 1996 there were 1,638,187 pupils attending 13,325 primary schools, with 44,145 teachers and a student-to-teacher ratio of 37 to 1. At the secondary level there were 302,035 pupils and 16,795 teachers in general education. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 48 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 66% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 12% of those eligible attended secondary school. There were 26,715 students enrolled in higher education in 1996/1997. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 1.9% of GDP.
The University of Madagascar in Antananarivo, established in 1961, also has campuses at Antsiranana, Fianarantsoa, Mahajanga, Toamasina, and Toliara. Also in Antananarivo are the Rural College of Ambatobe and the National Institute of Telecommunications and Posts.