COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document: Application and program document

The US$7 million grant supports:

  • providing educational content through radio programming
  • distributing radios and learning materials to the most vulnerable children
  • providing psychosocial support to students, teachers and parents
  • organizing awareness campaigns on the prevention of COVID-19, unwanted pregnancy, gender-based violence, etc.
  • refurbishing or constructing WASH facilities in schools, including water fountains, hand washing stations, cleaning and hygiene kits
  • ensuring remedial classes and additional learning support students
  • distributing meals to out-of-school students.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Burundi received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Education in Burundi

Following the socio-political events of 2015, the government of Burundi developed a medium-term transitional education plan for 2018-2020, instead of continuing with the implementation of the 2012-2020 Education and Training Development Sector Plan. This enables the government to focus its efforts on basic education, protect the gains until the country overcomes the current unrest and prepare a comprehensive sector plan at the end of the transitional period.

After a participatory process, the government and the development partners endorsed the transitional plan in May 2018. The plan focuses on basic education in order to support the basic education reform launched at the start of the 2013/2014 academic year and meet the major challenges identified by the 2014 Education Country Status Report (CSR) and the analysis of risks and vulnerabilities conducted in 2017.  Considerable challenges persist in terms of equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

The education sector is a priority for the government of Burundi in view of the share of its budget earmarked for education. The share of the education sector in recurrent expenditure excluding public debt has always been high. It rose from 31.1% in 2012 to 34.1% in 2016 and is planned to increase to 36% by 2020.

The local education group is the lead platform for dialogue and cooperation between the government and its partners. The Ministry of Education co-chairs the regular LEG meetings alongside the lead partner’s representative, which demonstrates the national authorities’ commitment to coordinating the sector with the partners.

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Latest grant

Children in Burundi. Credit: UNICEF Burundi

Happy children in Burundi. Burundi, September 2013.

CREDIT: UNICEF Burundi/Nijimbere
Development objective: Preserve the achievements and continuity of the education system and contribute to the reduction of vulnerabilities
Allocation: US$25,600,000
Years: 2019-2024
Grant agent: Agence Francaise de Developpement
Disbursements: US$6,224,000

The GPE Board approved a US$25.6 million grant to Burundi in March 2019. The program is designed to help the national authorities uphold the education system’s achievements and contribute to reducing vulnerabilities. It will help Burundi, in close collaboration with all its development partners, to continue to make progress to safeguard the right to education. The program has five components.

Component 1: Improve intake capacities to help improve learning conditions and students’ academic progression, and reduce disparities. Main activities include school building, definition and implementation of procedures to improve local resources management, and development of a school infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation strategy.

Component 2: Improve the quality of learning and system efficiency to improve teaching-learning processes and conditions to scale up learning outcomes and foster continuous schooling. Main activities include building capacities to teach the French language as a subject and use French as a language of instruction to facilitate the linguistic transition; improve science teaching conditions and practices in cycle 4 by providing schools with laboratory and IT equipment; build teacher and trainer skills in testing and remedial practices to reduce repetition.

Component 3: Support school resilience and reduction of vulnerabilities to provide local support to identified groups while informing Ministry of Education, Technical and Vocational Training (MEFTP) analyses and thinking so as to build specific intervention strategies that can be institutionalized in the future sector plan. Main activities include scaling up inclusive education, setting up local actions to support the retention of girls in school, developing interventions to protect and help enroll out-of-school children, and supporting the educational and community reintegration of repatriates.

Component 4: System management and steering support. Main activities include support for efforts to develop trades education and vocational training, improving EMIS data collection and processing, and assistance with all the preparatory activities for the development of the future ESP. This component is funded by AFD.

Component 5: Project management and technical assistance. This component is funded by AFD.

The results-based portion of the grant (30%) will be used for strategies to reduce repetition at different levels of basic education (efficiency), reduce geographical disparities in access to basic education and improve learning conditions (equity), and improve students’ performance in French (learning outcomes).


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 7,000,000 0 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2019-2024 25,600,000 6,224,000 Agence Francaise de Developpement  
2016-2019 20,100,000 20,100,000 UNICEF Progress report
2013-2016 30,200,434 32,800,000 Belgian Development Agency  
Sector plan development 2017-2018 416,927 416,927 UNICEF  
Program development 2019-2021 200,000 0 Agence Francaise de Developpement  
2017-2018 201,171 234,000 Agence Francaise de Developpement  
  Total 83,718,532 59,774,927    
Data last updated: October 15, 2020

GPE has also provided the Coalition for Education for All BAFASHEBIGE with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Burundi, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

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 June 10, 2020