Fanack Home / Yemen / Society Media Culture / Society / Education


Until the revolution of 1962, education was the privilege of the elite offspring of sayyids and qadis. Only a few schools existed. Since the revolution, schools have been built across the country, educating new generations. Today, 60 percent of all Yemeni adults are literate, with women catching up rapidly through adult-illiteracy-eradication centres in all major cities and towns.

Schools are located on hill tops, between villages. Primary pupils usually attend morning sessions, and the older children use the same classroom in the afternoons. Fees are limited to a few hundred riyals (a few dollars) per year, plus the cost of a school uniform. In 2009 over 80 percent of all children entered primary school, 40 percent continued into secondary schooling, and 10 percent received tertiary education. The figures for boys are much higher than for girls. Most of the boys finish primary school. Of the girls, only half of the 64 percent (2005, up from 45 percent in 2001) who enrol actually finish school; the rest drop out at the first sign of sexual maturity. Secondary school enrolment is 27 percent for girls and 47 percent for boys (2009). Teachers come from abroad (traditionally from Egypt, Syria, and the Occupied Palestinian Territories).

It is unclear whether children belonging to the Akhdam underclass receive an education, and if so, how many. It is an unwritten rule that the Akhdam do not qualify for social services, because few Yemenis allow their children to mix with them.

Literacy Yemen
Literacy Yemen
Education enrolment rate Yemen
Education enrolment rate Yemen

© Copyright Notice

Please contact us in case of omissions concerning copyright-protected work. The acquired copyright protected images used on/as featured image of this page are: ©Fanack | ©Fanack


Get the latest update on the Coronavirus outbreak in the Middle East and North Africa.

Regional Update

"Ignorance leads to fear, fear leads to hatred, and hatred leads to violence.
This is the equation."

IBN RUSHD/AVERROES (1126 – 1198)

We are a Dutch not for profit organisation (NGO), financed solely by individuals who share our belief in the importance of publishing and disseminating reliable, unbiased information on the Middle East & North Africa region. To represent the voice of the region’s people, we carefully echo the region’s heartbeat by offering fact-checked and therefore credible information.

Your support is greatly appreciated and helpful!