Primary school children build a tower with blocks. © GPE

Moldova is a lower middle-income country in Eastern Europe, located between Romania to the west and Ukraine to the north, east and south, with a population of 3.5 million. Since the early 2000s, the country's annual economic growth has fluctuated between 3.1% and 7.8%, with a dip at -6% in 2009. Moldova ranks 113th out of 187 countries in the 2013 UNDP Human Development Index.

Moldova joined GPE in 2005 with an Education Sector Plan covering the period 2005-2008. The country is on track to achieving the Millennium Development and Education for All Goals. The main challenge relates the lack of full coverage for early childhood education (ECD), especially for minority and disadvantaged children.

Moldova is now implementing its 2011-2015 sector plan, which focuses on inclusive education and early childhood development. With the financial support of GPE, the country seeks to increase preschool access, especially for children with special needs and improve the quality of ECD for all children. The plan also aims to strengthen the management, monitoring and evaluation of the education sector.

GPE principles help Moldova and its partners better coordinate their efforts to achieve results, especially for early childhood education. The Government leads the local education group, which includes representatives of all education partners.

Moldova received two grants from GPE totaling $ 8.8 million for the period 2006-2010. The World Bank was the Supervising Entity and the modality used was a project. A third and last "graduation" grant (given that Moldova is now a middle income country) of $ 4.4 million was approved in 2011. The World Bank is again the Supervising Entity for this project, which will consolidate progress in early childhood education.

In 2009, Moldova achieved a primary school completion rate of 92%. The country has reached a gender parity index for primary completion of 1.01 (2009), which means that more girls than boys complete primary school. Moldova has also achieved an almost perfect youth literacy rate:  99% of 15-24 year olds are literate (2010).