Education in Eritrea

In the Education Sector Development Plan 2013-2017 the government of Eritrea recognizes the importance of education and training “for the future prosperity of the country and its people” and therefore considers “education to be the cornerstone of all national development efforts, particularly in human resources development, economic growth and poverty alleviation.”

Eritrea’s education sector plan is a rolling five-year plan that covers all sectors except tertiary education. Despite impressive education sector progress since independence in 1991, challenges to achieving Education for All goals remain. The main obstacles identified and addressed in the plan include low access and high gender and location-based disparities as well as low quality and relevance of education.

Blogs and news

Children and teacher raise their hands. Malawi Primary School. Credit: GPE/Tara O'Connell
January 10, 2019
As we start 2019, we share some of our New Year’s resolutions to ensure more children are in school and learning.
In the front row, two blind students use Braille machines during class. Kisiwandui primary school in Zanzibar. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud
March 26, 2018
In this article, Julia Gillard says that despite notable progress in the last few years, millions of children with disabilities are still denied their right to education. For GPE, ensuring that...
A boy raises his hand in class, Burundi. Credit: UNICEF Burundi/Colfs
August 31, 2017
There is growing interest in the role of early learning programs in promoting peacebuilding because the foundations of development and learning are laid in the first five years of life. The link...

Latest grant

Children in class in Ghidae, Eritrea. October 2017.

CREDIT: GPE/Fazle Rabbani
Development objective: increasing access and enrolment and also to ensure retention and completion at primary school.
Grant agent:UNICEF

In 2013, Eritrea received a US$25.3 million grant from the Global Partnership to implement its education program with UNICEF as grant agent.

The “Enhancing Equitable Access to Quality Basic Education for Social Justice” program aims to enable children from disadvantaged communities in Eritrea, who are out of school, to receive a quality education and successfully complete a basic education cycle. The program is fully aligned with the strategic objectives of Eritrea’s education sector plan and the Local Education Group was involved in the planning of the GPE-supported program.

The program has three principal components:

  • Increasing equitable access to basic education through the provision and expansion of classrooms and schools, strengthening of complementary elementary education, and upgrading facilities catering to children with special needs and hearing impairments.
  • Improving the quality of teaching and learning in primary, lower secondary schools, early childhood development and adult literacy centers.
  • Strengthening the capacity of the ministry of education in management and monitoring.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2014-2019 25,300,000 15,111,579 UNICEF Progress report
Sector plan development 2017 500,000 - UNICEF  
2013 115,000 114,985 UNICEF  
Program development 2013 169,250 169,250 UNICEF  
  TOTAL 26,084,250 15,395,814    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Eritrea. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


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 (%)

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.

Last updated February 15, 2019