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. Sao Tome and Principe does not possess yet a learning assessment system nor does it participate in any regional or international assessment. 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).
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 Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Student/Trained teacher ratio
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in Sao Tome and Principe
The current 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 is improving teaching, one of the most important determinants of learning quality.
In coherence with the key priority areas of GPE, the project has two components, each with respective subcomponents:
- Improving the system of in-service teacher training in primary education through:
- The development of quality assurance scheme will be established to allow for better planning, coordination and implementation of in-service training activities
- A system of learning assessment that will 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.
- Strengthening management of human resources in the education sector through the development of an EMIS
- The project will finance 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 will be reactivated to provide close supervision and school-based support.
- Costs associated with the management of the project will also be financed by the grant.
The current GPE grant has contributed to the following results:
- Training plans for in-service teacher training have been developed,
- 100% of primary education schools benefitted from annual school-level supervision and a teacher mentoring program was offered to teachers in every primary school,
- A national large scale assessment of learning outcomes in Portuguese and Mathematics in grades 2,4 and 6 was successfully carried out,
- Teacher daily working hours have increased from 3.5 hours in 2015 to 4.5 hours in 2016,
- 26 preschool teachers have been trained.
- A new education management information system is in place and functional.