Education in Central African Republic
The government of the CAR has affirmed the importance of education. In the transition period, the government is working to restore the education sector.
Before the 2013 coup, the education sector in CAR faced several challenges, which were exacerbated by the country’s political crisis. These included:
- Access to education: 30% of primary school aged children (6-11 years old) have never been to school. Even though the primary school gross enrollment rate is 87%, the gross enrollment rates are very low in preprimary education and secondary school (5.4% in preschool, 21.8% in lower secondary school, and 8.9% in higher secondary school).
- Lack of teachers (89 students per teacher in primary schools), particularly qualified teachers because of the high prevalence of parent-teachers (40% before the crisis), and non-trained teachers.
- A shortage of classrooms (87 children per classroom in primary schools, basic facilities and textbooks (1 textbook for 10 students).
- Quality is also a concern as the country has one of the highest repetition rates in the world.
Source: MICS survey 2010
In 2012, the primary gross enrollment rate had reached 95%, showing slow signs of improvement with regards to access to school.
The Transition Plan focuses on three specific objectives:
- facilitating the transition between emergency activities and normal teaching conditions
- ensure that the primary and secondary education system will be able to attain the level of results achieved before the 2013 crisis regarding access to school and quality
- restore the educational authorities’ capacities to develop long-term education perspectives and sector strategies.
In order to achieve these objectives, the plan outlines 6 priorities:
- Accompany the emergency activities.
- Resume a teacher recruitment, training, and deployment policy.
- Progressing towards free primary education through piloting the coverage of parent-teachers’ salaries.
- Improve access to school by implementing catch up programs, providing textbooks to schools, resuming school construction and rehabilitation programs, and implementing various activities to benefit the most vulnerable populations.
- Restore institutional capacities, political and administrative, to ensure the governance of the education sector.
- Develop a new long-term sectoral plan.
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Disbursements||Grant agent|
|Sector plan development||2014||14,350||9,559||UNICEF|
Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.
Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in Central African Republic
The GPE grant of US$15.5 million for 2014-2017 aims to:
- improve access to primary school for all school-aged children, with particular focus on vulnerable groups (girls, orphans, people living with HIV or AIDS…) and those of disadvantaged areas
- improve the quality of teaching and the learning outcomes of children
- reestablish the effective operation of the Ministry of Education’s most essential services and sector governance capacities through the following main activities:
- resuming contract teachers recruitment
- experimenting subsidies to communities for the payment of community teachers’ salaries, and providing training
- providing textbooks to reduce the student/textbook ratios
- reestablishing basic governance through supporting the operating costs of priority services
- refurbishing and building classrooms and separate latrines for boys and girls, and providing equipment
- responding to emergencies.
The ministry of education leads the program in partnership with UNICEF as the grant agent and coordinating agency.
In CAR, GPE played a unique role in promoting donor coordination through the creation of the first local education group, which in turn proved to be an important mechanism for planning when crises struck. It also helped to leverage additional financing aligned with the transitional education plan.
The latest GPE grant of US$15.5 million has contributed to the following results in the first year of implementation:
- Approximately 74% of schools in GPE target areas reopened and are functioning compared to 35% schools in the previous school year
- 900 teachers received new teacher’s guides to improve instruction
- 600,000 French and mathematics textbooks have been procured to decrease the ratio of pupils per textbook to two students per textbook.