The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat approved US$139,487 for Rwanda to prepare a new education program.
On World Refugee Day, held each year on June 20, we share facts that remind us on the importance of ensuring that all children, including refugees, have access to education when they need it the most...
In March 2017, the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat approved US$323,570 for Rwanda to undertake an education sector analysis and develop a new education sector plan.

Education in Rwanda

Rwanda considers education a critical investment for the country’s future growth and development. This is evidenced by the increased share of the national budget allocated to the education sector, which is projected to increase from 17% in 2012/13 to 22% in 2017/18.

In the past few years, the education system in Rwanda has gone through an impressive period of growth especially in terms of access. Still, the country faces many challenges such as the onerous task of double-shift teaching for the primary school teachers and the language transition from French to English for grades 4 and above, which has been very difficult for teachers who do not have adequate time to improve their proficiency in English language.

The concepts of universal equitable access and quality education provision are the foundation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2013/14 -2017/18. This plan builds upon the national priority of making quality twelve-year basic education available for all children and also reflects the country’s mission to make education at all levels more accessible.

The ESSP outlines three main goals:

  • Promoting access to education at all levels
  • Improving the quality of education and training
  • Strengthening the relevance of education and training to meet labor market demands.

Equity in access to education is emphasized to ensure that disadvantaged students, such as girls, the poor and the disabled, have access to quality learning opportunities.

The following expected outcomes have been developed based on the goals mentioned above:

  • Expand access to 12 years of basic education
  • Increase access for students with special needs
  • Improve learning outcomes across primary and secondary education
  • Ensure qualified, suitably-skilled and motivated teachers
  • Increase equitable access to relevant, high-quality, demand-driven TVET programs
  • Increase equitable access to affordable higher education
  • Improve access to school readiness programs
  • Strengthen performance in science, technology and innovation at all levels
  • Increase access to Adult Basic Education to improve adult literacy and numeracy
  • Improve administrative and management support services.

Source: Rwanda’s Education Sector Strategic Plan for 2013-2018


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2015-2018 25,200,000 17,640,000 DfID
2011-2014 70,000,000 70,000,000 DfID
2009-2010 35,000,000 35,000,000 IBRD
2007-2010 70,000,000 70,000,000 IBRD
Sector plan development 2017 323,750 - DfID
  TOTAL 200,523,750 192,640,000  


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 Rwanda

Children playing dress up in their pre-school classroom at  Jean de la Mennais School in Burera district in rural Rwanda. Credit: GPE/Alexandra Humme

The US$25.2 million grant approved in May 2015 is one of the first three grants allocated by GPE under its new funding model, where 30% of the grant amount is linked to specific results.

The grant is transferred directly to the government's budget in support of the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan.

Rwanda has chosen the following indicators for the results portion of the grant:

  • Equity: the country will monitor the rate of children enrolled in pre-primary school, with a target of 17% in 2017 in the 22 poorest performing districts, compared to a baseline of 10% in 2014.
  • Efficiency: the country commits to publishing by April 2017 education statistics for 2016, disaggregated by district.
  • Learning: While the Grade 2 students have already been assessed, Grade 6 students will take a learning assessment in 2017, and the results from both will be used to inform the country's teaching and learning practices.

The ministry of education leads the Education Sector Working Group in Rwanda, which includes development partners and representatives from civil society organizations. There is a good collaboration among the education partners in the country. The coordinating agency is UNICEF.


The GPE grant to Rwanda has contributed to the following significant results in the education sector:

  • The number of students in pre-primary has increased from 183,645 in 2015 to 190,100 in 2016,
  • The pre-primary gross enrollment rate has increased from 20.2% in 2015 to 23.7% in 2016,
  • The net enrollment rate in pre-primary education has increased from 14.2% in 2015 to 17.2% in 2016,
  • The number of students in primary education has increased from 2,450,705 in 2015 to 2,544,394 in 2016,
  • The gross enrollment rate in primary has increased from 135.3% in 2015 to 139.5% in 2016,
  • The completion rate in primary has increased from 60.4% in 2015 to 65.2% in 2016,
  • The number of staff in primary has increased from 42,004 in 2015 to 43,558 in 2016,
  • The overall student drop-out rate has decreased from 10.3% in 2014 to 5.7% in 2015,
  • The repetition rate dropped from 20.7% in 2014 to 18.4% in 2015,
  • In lower secondary education, the drop-out rate has improved from 14.4% in 2014 to 6.5% in 2015,
  • In tertiary education, enrollment has increased from 86,315 in 2015 to 90,463 in 2016,
  • The number of centers for Adult Literacy Program has increased from 4,313 in 2015 to 4,511 in 2016, as well as the number of learners from 95,829 in 2015 to 120,820 in 2016,

Source: 2015/16 Backward-Looking Joint Review of the Education Sector, November 2016

Last updated January 26, 2018