Education in Sao Tome and Principe

The government of Sao Tome and Principe developed an education sector plan, as well as an Educational Policy Charter 2012-2020 outlining priorities and strategies for the education sector. The final objective of the government is to provide 12 years of free, quality education to all children in the country, as well as offer higher and technical education opportunities.

Although the country has achieved universal primary education, the system faces challenges with respect to efficiency, quality and governance. About 60% of primary education teachers are unqualified.

To achieve these objectives the plan outlines strategies to:

  • Ensure, in a gradual and sustainable manner, universal access to 12 years of free, quality education.
  • Develop quality technical and vocational secondary and higher education offerings.
  • Develop the offer of quality higher education, integrated and adapted to the needs of the labor market.
  • Implement a training and high-level training policy for teachers and other education officials to address the quality and efficiency challenges within the education system.
  • Develop the institutional capacity of the ministry of education to ensure an effective management of education sector, in particular through the development of an Education Management Information System (EMIS).

Blogs and news

The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat approved US$250,000 for Sao Tome and Principe to revise the 2012-2022 education sector plan and develop an action plan.
In March 2017, the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat approved US$236,600 for Sao Tome and Principe to conduct an education sector analysis.

Latest grant

Young people from Sao Tome and Principe

CREDIT: Helena Van Eykeren/Flickr
Development objective: Improve the system of in-service teacher training and strengthen the management of human resources in the education sector
Grant agent:IBRD

The GPE program implementation grant is encompassed in a broader program supervised by the World Bank, which aimed at improving the quality of education in Sao Tome and Principe. The primary focus of the “Quality Education for All Project - Phase 2” program was improving teaching, one of the most important determinants of learning quality.

In coherence with the key priority areas of GPE, the project had two components, each with respective subcomponents:

  1. Improving the system of in-service teacher training in primary education through:
    • The development of quality assurance scheme to allow for better planning, coordination and implementation of in-service training activities
    • A system of learning assessment to allow for systematic measurement of learning outcomes of students of primary education in order to regularly provide feedback on critical areas of teacher training that need improvements.
  1. Strengthening management of human resources in the education sector through the development of an EMIS
    • The project financed technical assistance for the development of the system, purchase of equipment, training of ministry staff on the use of the system, as well as the development of a ministry website.
    • Inspection services reactivated to provide close supervision and school-based support.
    • Costs associated with the management of the project to be financed by the grant.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2014-2019 1,100,000 1,080,363 IBRD Progress report
2009-2011 3,600,000 3,600,000 IBRD Progress report
Sector plan development 2018 250,000 IBRD  
2017 236,600 IBRD
Program development 2012 200,000 195,168 IBRD  
  TOTAL 5,386,600 4,875,531    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Sao Tome and Principe. 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 30, 2018