The PAEQUE (Equity and Quality for Improved Learning) program, supported by a GPE grant has achieved promising results in improving the quality of education and promoting equity in Cameroon.
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Education in Cameroon

The primary objective of the current plan, “Document de Stratégie du Secteur de l’Education et de la Formation 2013-2020” is the achievement of quality universal primary education. This objective aligns with the national strategy for growth and employment goal of providing the production system with human capital capable of supporting economic growth.

The document identifies the major challenges facing education in Cameroon as poor quality, weak governance and accountability across the system leading to the inequitable and inefficient distribution of resources, and persistent disparities related to gender, region of residence and income.

In order to tackle these issues the plan focuses on access and equity, quality and relevance, and sector governance and management. General and specific objectives as well as targeted interventions are outlined for each “strategic axis”.

  1. Access and Equity
    Improve access and equity at all levels of education. More specifically:
    • Increase preschool enrollment to 40% nationwide
    • Increase access by reducing disparities of all kinds in primary and secondary education
    • Expand basic education to include lower secondary school
    • Diversify and increase vocational training options
    • Strengthen higher education with a focus on professional preparedness, science, and technology
    • Promote literacy among children and adults
    • Develop nationwide building and infrastructure standards
  2. Quality and Relevance
    Improve the quality of learning paying particular attention to the socio-economic environment:
    • Improve the quality of learning in primary and secondary school through interventions such as curriculum reform, distribution of learning and teaching materials, and literacy programs,
    • Adapt training and teaching to the socio-economic environment focusing on achieving a well-educated human resources base in support of the country’s industrialization efforts,
    • Promote research and development of education practices within the sector,
    • Promote health in schools, universities, and vocational training efforts.
  3. Governance and Management
    Improve the governance and management of the education sector focusing on decentralization:
    • Maintain current regulation mechanisms until new ones are developed following the establishment of basic education,
    • Reinforce decentralization of education sector, delegating to local authorities,
    • Improve human resource management,
    • Improve teaching conditions and encourage efficient career management,
    • Reinforce sector planning capacity,
    • Increase transparency of resource management.

Source: Plan sectoriel de l'éducation (2013-2020). Cameroun


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2014-2018 53,300,000 34,831,612 IBRD
2007-2011 47,064,100 47,064,100 IBRD
Sector plan development 2012 200,000 199,424 IBRD
Program development 2012 190,650 190,395 IBRD
  TOTAL 100,754,750 82,285,531  


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/Trained teacher ratio

Teachers Trained (%)

GPE in Cameroon

A boy attends primary school in Cameroon. Credit: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer

Cameroon received a GPE grant of US$47.1 million for 2007-2008 to support the government’s Contract Teacher Program which hired and contracted over 37,000 teachers.

The second grant of US$53.3 million, covering the years 2014-2018, supports a program to improve primary education service delivery, in particular the early grades, with a focus on supporting the disadvantaged areas and improving girls’ attendance. The program also aims to limit the risks of poor management, weak participation, and lack of transparency/accountability in the conversion of parents’ teachers to contract teachers and in the distribution of teaching and learning materials, and to better monitor service delivery.

The project interventions were determined jointly by the government’s technical team, the coordinating agencies UNESCO and UNICEF, and the World Bank as grant agent.

This grant has been restructured in May 2017 to accelerate the distribution of textbooks and teachers’ guides.

The program has two principal components:

  1. Improving equity and quality in primary education service delivery by:
    • Increasing teacher availability in public primary schools in disadvantaged areas
    • Providing teaching and learning materials
    • Providing professional development opportunities to teachers and inspectors
    • Supporting girls’ education through gender-oriented advocacy campaigns and enhanced monitoring and evaluation of gender equity in education
    • Developing a National primary education assessment framework, specifically using Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGMA)
  2. Building institutional capacity for improved education service delivery by:
    • Improving information, governance and accountability, and monitoring and evaluation capacity
    • Building knowledge for improved service delivery and learning

Source: World Bank program appraisal document. February 2014 and GPE grant restructuring document.


The second GPE grant of US$53.3 million has contributed to the following results:

  • The student-textbook ratio has improved from 12/1 in 2012 to 6/1 in 2016,
  • 2,970 new contract teachers, 50% of whom are female
  • Distribution of 85% of parent teachers have become contract teachers, of which 50% are women,
  • 1,090,184 grade 1 textbooks and teaching guides for French, English, and mathematics were distributed,
  • 631 inspectors were trained in the use of teaching and learning materials,
  • 62 directors were trained in the use of the new teaching and learning materials,
  • Studies on ‘skills for the labor market’, ‘student flow and higher education reform’, and a policy note on adult literacy and out-of-school children’ have been completed,
  • Direct project beneficiaries have substantially increased from 1,245,000 in June 2016 to 3,311,996 in December 2016.

Source: World Bank implementation status report. December 2016

Last updated September 05, 2017