A girl learns to count on her fingers in Madagascar.
CREDIT: UNICEF Madagascar/2014/Ramasomanana
Madagascar joined the Global Partnership for Education in 2005 following the approval of its first Education for All Plan. The country received a US$60 million grant from the Global Partnership to advance education sector reform, making solid progress between 2006 and 2008.
The Challenge: Losing ground on education
The unconstitutional change in government in March 2009 led to a rapid decline in education services, reversing a decade of sustained progress. Access to primary school deteriorated sharply and fewer students were staying in school. According to the latest Household Survey, the number of out-of-school children of primary school age rose by 35 percent between 2005 and 2011. Families were less able to pay the mounting out-of-pocket costs resulting from sharp cuts in public spending. Two-thirds of primary school teachers were hired by local communities, with a share of their salaries paid by parents.
The Solution: Keeping coordination alive and leveraging funds through GPE
As bleak as the state of education in Madagascar appears, the damage would have been even worse without the support of the Global Partnership. A GPE grant of US$64 million (2009-2011) kept partners in the education sector active and coordinated at a time when support to other sectors was fragmenting. The grant also ensured core funding when the economic consequences of the political crisis led to significant cuts in national and international education funding.
The Result: Planning and implementation are back on track
GPE grant-funded activities enabled vulnerable schools to limit the increased costs to parents, provided school meals, and paid for classroom construction and rehabilitation. The GPE funds also helped promote greater accountability for the allocation and use of education funding and ensured at least a minimal level of government support to education. Since joining the Global Partnership, Madagascar has increased education spending as a share of the GDP by 10 percent.
A smaller GPE grant in 2012 helped put sector planning back on track by funding the development of an Interim Education Sector Plan that sets out a strategy for rebuilding Madagascar’s planning and management capacity.
The sector plan served as the basis for a larger GPE grant of US$85.4 million approved in early 2013.