Education in Central African Republic | Global Partnership for Education
Central African Republic

Central African Republic


UNICEF reported that in the Central African Republic more than 850,000 people – half of them children – are still on the move, either internally displaced or refugees in neighboring countries....

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:

  1. facilitating the transition between emergency activities and normal teaching conditions
  2. 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
  3. 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:

  1. Accompany the emergency activities.
  2. Resume a teacher recruitment, training, and deployment policy.
  3. Progressing towards free primary education through piloting the coverage of parent-teachers’ salaries.
  4. 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.
  5. Restore institutional capacities, political and administrative, to ensure the governance of the education sector.
  6. Develop a new long-term sectoral plan.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2014-2017 15,510,000 9,171,984 UNICEF
2013-2015 3,690,000 3,937,953 UNICEF
2009-2015 37,800,000 37,596,702 IBRD
Sector plan development 2014 14,350 9,559 UNICEF
2012 126,600 36,801 IBRD
Program development 2012 196,000 77,109 IBRD
  TOTAL 57,336,950 50,830,108  


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 (%)

Domestic Financing

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 (%)


Student/Teacher Ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

GPE in Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, a student is proudly showing her test score in a math class. Her school was closed for a long time due to insecurity in the district but most students came back with GPE supported activities.  Credit: UNICEF/Kim

The GPE grant of US$15.5 million for 2014-2017 aims to:

  1. 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
  2. improve the quality of teaching and the learning outcomes of children
  3. 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.

Source: UNICEF program document. September 2014


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.

Source: Global Partnership for Education for the CAR, First Annual Report, UNICEF, December 2015

Last updated January 05, 2017