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Guinea Equatorial - Education

At different times Equatorial Guinea was under the influence of Portugal, England, Spain and France. Equatorial Guinea is the only state on the African continent with the Spanish as the official language. Spain remained the colonizer for longest, until 1968. Under the dictator Masias, the relations with the kingdom were spoilt. However, after Teodor Obiang came to power, cultural ties with Spain got stronger. Today, the traces of the European culture are found mainly in the Spanish Centers in Malabo and Bata. The atmosphere there is amicable. Teachers, both Spanish and local, teach young Guineans drama, dancing, art and sculpture after school. They often organize festivals, open classes, castings and different exhibitions. For one, an International Hip-Hop, or Short Film Festival allows you not only demonstrate your skills and meet colleagues but also go and win Europe, if you win.

The Guinean Cultural Center in the Independence Avenue in Malabo is always swarming with young people. It is still very expensive to have Internet access at home, but here wifi is free in the hall. No wonder people occupy even the staircase with their laptops. The centers main objective is not only to unlock access to the world news but also to preserve national traditions. That is why it announces weeks of fang, boobi, annobon, bisio and ndove tribes culture with conferences, sculpture and photo exhibitions, national dancing and food competitions. Often, there are also book presentations in the Guinean Cultural Center. Near the main building there is an open air stage. Young people do sports here at day time, and in the evenings chairs are brought for the guests to listen to music and watch dancing performances. Often, the performances are devoted to some holidays and the performers are school children

The number of school children has grown in Equatorial Guinea in the past few years. The whole Malabo goes to school every morning. Illiteracy typical of the Masias rule has long sunk to oblivion. The level of literacy now reaches 95%, which is higher than in Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa. Guineans say even in the countryside you will not find a child older than three hanging around. Everybody study. There are computer classes even at kindergartens. The education is obligatory and cost-free for children from 6 to 14. After finishing high-school many students go to Spain to continue their studies. Many go to the National University of Equatorial Guinea in Malabo, with 7 departments and 1800 students. In Bata, there is a Medical School supported by the government of Cuba, where professors from the Island of Freedom work. The School has students programs with the universities of Spain, France and Cuba.

Students can often be seen not only in the cultural centers, but also in the National Library in Malabo, the atrium of which is decorated by the cubic sculpture of the African Picasso Leonardo Mbomio Nsue. Besides Guinean writers, there are also books on ancient history of the state pre-colonial and colonial times. In the library, you can buy rare books on traditions of fang and boobi tribes.

Guineans inherited passion for football from Spaniards. All little and old play and watch football. When Real plays with Barcelona in Spain, be sure, Guineans are also at the TV screens separated into two camps. Equatorial Guinea hosted the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012 that left the country several first-class stadiums. The male national team has never won so far, while female one is the champion of Africa and one of the most famous female national teams worldwide.