On International Literacy Day, let’s review some of the efforts that the Global Partnership for Education is making to ensure that more children in developing countries are learning.
Alice Albright’s visit to an all-girls school in Senegal; Malala’s birthday; and a new report on the impacts of not giving girls equal access to education underline the power of educating girls.
Serigne Mbaye Thiam, Minister of National Education in Senegal, will become the first Vice Chair of the Global Partnership for Education.

Education in Senegal

The Senegalese government has demonstrated a strong commitment to education, working with multiple partners to support the implementation of the country’s education sector development plan.

The government recognizes that a strong educational system has positive effects on the country’s economic and social development.

Senegal accomplished laudable progress in terms of access between 2000 and 2015. In elementary school, gross enrollment rates went from 67.2% to 84.6% and the gender parity index went from 0.87 to 1.1 (Rapport national sur la situation de l’éducation au Sénégal, Août 2015).

Despite progress over the years, Senegal’s education system still faces significant issues and challenges. These include regional disparities in school enrollment and completion, low levels of learning achievement, low level enrollment in math and sciences disciplines and poor learning conditions.

To address these challenges, the Sector Program for Quality, Equity, and Transparency Improvements in Education (PAQUET) focuses on providing all children with access to education, adapting to different learner needs and contexts, and adequate staffing resources.

To achieve these goals, the PAQUET covers 8 priorities:

  • Pursue universal basic education for all citizens
  • Adapt vocational and technical training in partnership with the private sector to meet the needs of an emerging economy,
  • Improve the quality of teaching and learning
  • Promote and develop the teaching of science, technology, and innovation
  • Decentralize the management of education programs for more effective, efficient, and inclusive governance
  • Strengthen the education sector’s efficiency
  • Enhance the productivity of teaching and administrative staff
  • Develop the use of national languages in the education system.

The government has prioritized these objectives to meet the goal of developing competent human resources in line with the requirements of sustainable development.

An education sector plan development grant from GPE was approved in April 2016 to conduct an evaluation of the first phase of the ESP and to update phase 2 and phase 3 documents of the ESP.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent
Program implementation 2013 -2018 46,900,000 44,598,359 IBRD
2009-2014 79,674,938 79,674,938 IBRD
Sector plan development 2016 250,000 44,320 IBRD
Program development 2013 200,000 191,148 IBRD
  TOTAL 127,024,938 124,508,765  


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 Senegal

Student using a compass in class at Maka Dieng Primary School in Tivaouane, Senegal. Credit: GPE/Chantal Rigaud

The current GPE grant of US$46.9 million complements the funds provided by the government and other donors to implement a program focused on improving quality and equity of basic education.

The three main components supported by GPE funding are:

  • Improving the quality of basic education through performance-based education grants, school quality and management, developing the sciences and mathematics, and improving pre-service teacher training.
  • Strengthening equity in access to education through the construction and rehabilitation of schools, and grants for results in selected Koranic schools (known as Daaras in Senegal).
  • Supporting project management and capacity building through the development of a monitoring and evaluation system, support to the decentralization of the education sector management and community participation in the decision making and school governance.

The ministry of education leads this program and the grant agent is the World Bank. The coordinating agency is UNESCO.

Source: World Bank project appraisal document. May 2013


While previous GPE funding focused primarily on access, the current GPE program is geared to increasing quality. The funding has begun contributing to progress in the education sector with the following results:

  • More than 1.8 million children in Senegal (including 52% girls) are benefitting from the program
  • All primary schools (8,135 in 2016) now have quality improvement plans and have received grants to support their implementation.
  • 100% of new recruited teachers were trained and certified using the new training program and 100% of middle school teachers were trained in the utilization of the new teaching guides.
  • 98% of schools have functional school management committees that are fully trained and involved in school governance, compared to 10% in 2012
  • 4 Districts level teachers and Education personnel training centers (CRFPE) are being constructed and will be functional by 2018.
  • 190 out of 200 new schools have been constructed to improve access to primary education in remote areas.
  • A regional education report is produced yearly.
  • A human resources, statistics and budget management system, including software and equipment, is established in all Academic Inspectorates and in all Training and Education Inspectorates.

Source:World Bank implementation status report. April 2017

Note: data on primary gross enrollment rates used in this profile have been extracted from government documents. They are more recent than what is reported to UIS, which explains the difference in data between the two sources.

Last updated December 13, 2017