Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 42.9% (males, 27.8%; females, 57.4%). Primary education (ages 6–12) is compulsory and free of charge. Secondary education lasts for seven years. In 1996/1997, there were 859,574 pupils and 18,535 teachers in primary schools. There were 178,254 pupils in secondary schools in the same year. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 38 to 1 in 1999. In the same year, 91% of primary-school-age children were enrolled in school, while 23% of those eligible attended secondary school. Mission schools play an important role in education. As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 4.5% of GDP.
The University of Benin is at Lomé. Lomé also has colleges of administration, architecture, and urban planning. In 1996/1997, all higher-level schools had 443 teachers and a total enrollment of 13,124 students.