Over the past five years, GPE partner countries have made progress in learning, access and equity: more children have access to trained teachers, more children are learning and more are completing basic education, including more girls.
Since 2016, GPE has grown dramatically: 15 new partner countries have joined the partnership, which now supports 76 countries; new members joined our Board of Directors and the pool of grant agents diversified. Annual grant allocations have increased from US$294 million in 2016 to $1.5 billion in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic that swept through the world since early 2020 closed schools for 1.6 billion children at its peak and threatens to undermine decades of hard-earned gains in education. A few weeks after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, GPE announced more than $500 million to support 66 partner countries to organize distance learning, reopen schools safely and bring children back to learning as quickly as possible, as well as learn from the crisis.
Persistent challenges remain, notably to reduce the number of children who still don’t go to school, to ensure that more children learn the skills they need to become productive citizens, and to keep financing, both domestic and international, at sufficient levels to strengthen education systems and make them more resilient to future shocks.
More children are learning: 70% of partner countries with data improved learning outcomes between 2010–15 and 2016–19, and almost half of countries had good learning assessment systems in place in 2020, up from 40% in 2015. But still just 23% of 10-year-olds in partner countries can read and understand a simple text.
More children complete basic education: Primary completion rates have risen from 72% in 2015 to 76% in 2020, and lower secondary completion rates from 49% to 53% in the same period. Between 2015 and 2020, GPE grants have supported 32.7 million students, including 24.2 million in partner countries affected by fragility and conflict.
Girls’ access to education has increased: The gap between boys’ and girls’ average completion rates has narrowed since 2015, from 6% to 3% for primary school, and from 10% to 7% for lower secondary school.
More children have access to trained teachers: 39% of partner countries have fewer than 40 primary students per trained teacher in 2020, up from 25% in 2015.
Education financing improved: The volume of domestic financing for education increased by $5.8 billion between 2015 and 2019 (data for 61 partner countries). GPE also raised $4 billion from donors for 2021-2025 during its current financing campaign. But to reach SDG 4, education spending will need to increase, and domestic budgets for education will need to be protected from the impact of the pandemic.
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- Results at a glance
- Executive summary
- Special chapter: Supporting education systems to respond to COVID-19
- Chapter 1: Learning outcomes
- Chapter 2: Equity, gender equality and inclusion in access to education
- Chapter 3: Efficient education systems
- Chapter 4: Sector planning, monitoring and policy dialogue
- Chapter 5: Financing and partnership