Education in Nicaragua

Despite significant progress, such as the reduction to 5% of the adult population’s illiteracy rate and the increase of net primary enrollment rates, Nicaragua faces various challenges in the education sector. These include a high number of out-of-school children, especially in rural areas, low levels of student learning outcomes in regional assessments (which are linked to poor preparation of primary school teachers and insufficient learning materials), and low quality of preschool education, particularly among disadvantaged rural households. Adequate baseline data and solid statistics continue to be a problem imposing difficulties in planning as well as in monitoring the sector.

Nicaragua’s strategic education plan includes interventions focused on expanding access to preschool education, universal completion of six grades of primary education, and universal access to lower secondary education (grades 7-9). Institutional strengthening is another transversal priority of the education plan.

Blogs and news

Students solving a task. Pong Tamale Experimental Primary School, Ghana. Credit: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer
January 24, 2019
On the first International Day of Education, let’s review the key role that education plays in promoting peace, development and growth, and examine the elements that make up a great education.
5-year-old Karen attends the Guardabarranco School in Acoyapa, Nicaragua.   Nicaragua, March 2017 Credit: GPE/Carolina Valenzuela
March 21, 2017
In Nicaragua, newly constructed preschools, resembling the outside of a castle, combined with new learning materials and improved teacher training have created a stimulating atmosphere for children,...
Credit: GPE/Carolina Valenzuela
March 24, 2017
Photo story: See the impact of a GPE-funded program that, together with funding from other donors, is making a big difference in improving access to early childhood education and its quality in...

Latest grant

Three-year-old Lauri attends Ruben Dario preschool in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

CREDIT: GPE/Carolina Valenzuela
Development objective: increase access to preschool education in selected municipalities, and to improve preschool education learning conditions nationwide.
Grant agent:IBRD

Nicaragua is using the US$16.7 million GPE grant together with US$1.7 million from its own resources, US$33.39 million from the European Union, and US$15.80 million from the World Bank to finance the education sector strategy support project.

The main objectives of this project are to increase access to preschool and lower secondary education in participating municipalities and improve preschool learning conditions and education quality as well as completion of lower secondary education nationwide.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2013-2017 16,700,000 16,700,000 IBRD Completion report
2006-2010 17,000,000 17,000,000 IBRD Completion report
2004-2005 7,000,000 7,000,000 IBRD Completion report
Sector plan development 2015 500,000 419,516 IBRD Completion report
  TOTAL 41,200,000 41,119,516    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Nicaragua. Download this PDF to view the country’s progress on 16 results framework indicators monitored by the GPE Secretariat.


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 (%)

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 September 26, 2018