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Education in Benin

Benin displays significant geographic and social disparities in the provision and quality of primary education services. Two key issues are high absenteeism of teachers and lack of capacity to manage the education system overall.

The third phase of the Benin’s Education Sector Plan covers the years 2013 to 2016 and has the following priorities:

  1. Preschool: improve access to preschool programs by creating public preschools, supporting private preschools, and ensuring quality preschool education.
  2. Primary school: the program focuses on 25 communes where the enrollment rate is lowest. It aims to increase access and retention, improve quality and equity, and ensure that girls and children with special needs be included. It also aims to improve the system management.
  3. Secondary school: increase access, improve equity and quality, improve girls’ access to secondary education, and strengthen management.
  1. Technical and vocational training and education: retraining and youth insertion: increase availability of services, ensure training and skills satisfy the job market needs, improve quality and equity, and strengthen sector management.
  2. Higher education and scientific research: strengthen sector management, improve quality and equity, and promote scientific and technological research as sustainable development tools.
  3. Literacy and promotion of national languages: ensure that illiterate youth above 15 have equitable access to literacy programs; promote national languages, and strengthen sector management.
  4. Education sector management: implement coherent strategies to ensure that management and coordination of the sector be efficient. This includes coordinating an efficient system to monitor learning, respecting deadlines and budgets, being accountable to communities, and coordinating development partners

According to UIS, 22% of total government spending went to education in 2013, representing 5% of GDP. In 2014, during the GPE Replenishment conference, the government of Benin committed to maintaining education spending at 27% (50% of which for primary education) between 2014 and 2018. It also committed to producing reliable data on basic education and to report to UIS every year by the end of July.

UNICEF is the coordinating agency of the education sector in Benin.

Benin is preparing a new sector plan for 2017-2025, and GPE is supporting the analysis of the sector and development of the new plan through aan education sector plan development grant whose grant is the Swiss Cooperation.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2014-2017 42,300,000 41,120,045 IBRD
2008-2012 75,108,025 75,108,025 IBRD
Sector plan development 2016 428,794 0 Swiss Dev. Coop.
2012 56,200 38,034 IBRD
  TOTAL 117,893,019 116,266,104  


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 completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

GPE in Benin

Kids in line for food at the canteen of a school in Benin. Credit: Cordelia Persen

The current US$42.3 million grant to Benin goes into a basket fund called the Common Fund Budget (Fonds Commun Budgétaire - FCB) to which Agence française de développement (AFD) also contributes.

In 2017 the project was restructured a second time to reflect an extension of the project’s closing date for an additional eleven months, until end of April 2018. The GPE-supported program has two main objectives: improving access and equity, and quality of classroom instruction at the basic level, with particular emphasis on disadvantaged districts.

These objectives are broken down into three components:

  1. Improving the quality of basic education, with a focus on the most deprived primary school districts through in-service and pre-service teacher training, and subsidies to local schools for pedagogical materials acquisitions
  2. Improving access and equity through school construction, school feeding programs and incentives for girls’ education in “deprived districts”
  3. Improving the management and governance of the education system through support to Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), student learning assessments, school inspection and pedagogical management, and capacity building, project management and studies.

Source: World Bank project appraisal document. March 2014 and Restructuring paper, September 2015


As of December 2016, the program supported by the pooled fund has achieved the following results:

  • The primary completion rate in targeted districts has gone up to 54% in 2016 compared to 40% in 2011.
  • Girls’ primary completion rate in targeted districts has increased from 34.30% in 2011 to 50.90% in 2016.
  • 231 additional classrooms were built at primary level.
  • 178,188 students are receiving at least one meal per day at school in disadvantaged districts.
  • 10,699 primary level teachers and 460 officers of the ministries were trained.
  • 174,718 girls in grades 1 and 2 in deprived districts have received a school package.
  • Student assessments using the Programme D'Analyse Des Systèmes Educatifs de la CONFEMEN (PASEC) method was carried out in 2014.

Source: World Bank implementation status report

Last updated September 05, 2017