Education in Mali

Mali’s transitional education sector plan was developed following a period of unconstitutional rule and civil war. It aims to continue some of the work of the previous ten-year sector plan and also restore the school system in areas affected by conflict.

The government of Mali is committed to continuing the implementation of its education development policies to enhance the quality and efficiency of the education system.

The education sector has recently faced considerable challenges due to political instability. Between 2011 and 2013, progress made in the previous decade eroded: The primary gross enrollment ratio decreased from 92% to 83.5%, while the completion rate decreased from 62% to 59%.

The interim education sector plan, the Programme intérimaire de relance du secteur de l’éducation et de la formation professionnelle (PIRSEF) covers 2015-2016 and has been extended till the end of 2017. It is focused on improving quality, access, and governance in the education sector.

The PIRSEF encompasses three main components:

  1. Improve the quality of teaching and learning by improving professional qualifications for learners, adapting training offerings, and promoting scientific research.
  2. Improve access to education by building and rehabilitating more facilities, recruiting teachers, fostering social mobilization and stakeholder involvement, and promoting inclusive education.
  3. Strengthen the governance of education and vocational training by involving communities in school management, supporting the monitoring and evaluation system, and supporting the preparation of a Ten Year Education Sector Plan.

The government of Mali has also pledged to focus on reducing gender disparities, establishing disaster mitigation measures, and improving reading and writing in the early grades.

The government is in the process of developing a new sector plan, with support from a small grant from GPE to carry out the sector analysis.

Blogs and news

Grace, age 12, in the Primary 5 classroom at Makamba Primary School. Uganda. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
January 10, 2019
The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat has approved grants totaling more than US$1.3 million to support education sector analysis and planning, as well as education program development in...
Four children are outside the classroom in Mali, two sit on the window sill while the other two stand outside. Credit: GPE
February 08, 2017
Mali and Guinea are working on developing pedagogical approaches adapted to small rural schools. These activities are part of the overall education sector plans and are specifically supported by the...

Latest grant

School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali.

CREDIT: UN Photo/Marco Dormino
Development objective: increase access to education, and improve the learning environment, for affected students in the targeted areas.
Grant agent:IBRD

The latest GPE grant of US$41.7 million (2013-2017) focused on increasing access and improving the learning environment for affected students in target areas.

The grant supported three components:

  1. Increase access to quality basic education services through construction and rehabilitation of physical structures, provision of health and nutrition programs, distribution of teaching-learning materials to students in targeted areas, with a focus on displaced students.
  2. Strengthen the technical and pedagogical capacity of the education system through teacher training and pedagogical support for affected students in order to improve students’ learning.
  3. Strengthen the administrative and monitoring capacity of the education system by fostering school management committees and providing support for the ministry’s monitoring and evaluation system in targeted areas.

The ministry of Education implemented the program in partnership with the World Bank as grant agent and UNICEF as coordinating agency.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2013-2017 41,700,000 41,248,412 IBRD Completion report
2007-2010 6,553,547 6,553,547 IBRD
Sector plan development 2016 442,604 210,783 UNICEF
Program development 2018 200,000 IBRD
2012 200,000 182,246 IBRD
  TOTAL 49,096,151 48,194,988    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Mali. 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 October 04, 2018