COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$11 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNESCO

Key documents:

The US$11 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Learning continuity for all children through distance learning delivered via radio, TV, and internet, distribution of printed materials, supported through staff training, community sensitization and distribution of ICT kits and radios to vulnerable students.
  • Return to safe and protective schools through hygiene measures (disinfection of schools, handwashing programs), a psychosocial support program, distribution of learning supplies to girls and vulnerable children, learning assessments, and community mobilization / teacher training around preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Building the resilience of the education system by further developing regional capacity for implementing distance learning approaches, including supporting mobile centers for distance learning, thematic studies based on evidence, and development of a harmonized national plan for crisis management.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Cameroon 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 Cameroon

The primary objective of the current plan, “Document de Stratégie du Secteur de l’Education et de la Formation 2013-2020” is the achievement of quality universal primary education. This objective aligns with the national strategy for growth and employment goal of providing the production system with human capital capable of supporting economic growth.

The country has made notable progress in recent years on some indicators, including increasing the textbook/learner ratio, recruiting and deploying new teachers and assessing learning outcomes. However, the education sector still faces many challenges particularly due to the many crises the country has faced in recent years.

The current education sector plan is focused on improving access and equity, quality and relevance, as well as governance and management of the sector.

  1. Access and Equity
    Improve access and equity at all levels of education. More specifically:
    • Increase preschool enrollment to 40% nationwide
    • Increase access by reducing disparities of all kinds in primary and secondary education
    • Expand basic education to include lower secondary school
    • Diversify and increase vocational training options
    • Strengthen higher education with a focus on professional preparedness, science, and technology
    • Promote literacy among children and adults
    • Develop nationwide building and infrastructure standards
  2. Quality and Relevance
    Improve the quality of learning paying particular attention to the socio-economic environment:
    • Improve the quality of learning in primary and secondary school through interventions such as curriculum reform, distribution of learning and teaching materials, and literacy programs,
    • Adapt training and teaching to the socio-economic environment focusing on achieving a well-educated human resources base in support of the country’s industrialization efforts,
    • Promote research and development of education practices within the sector,
    • Promote health in schools, universities, and vocational training efforts.
  3. Governance and Management
    Improve the governance and management of the education sector focusing on decentralization:
    • Maintain current regulation mechanisms until new ones are developed following the establishment of basic education,
    • Reinforce decentralization of education sector, delegating to local authorities,
    • Improve human resource management,
    • Improve teaching conditions and encourage efficient career management,
    • Reinforce sector planning capacity,
    • Increase transparency of resource management.

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Latest grant

Students lifting their slates during a lesson in a school in Cameroon.

Students lifting their slates during a lesson in a school in Cameroon.

CREDIT: GPE/Stephan Bachenheimer
Development objective: Mitigate the effects of the transition of learners from temporary learning spaces to host schools around the 6 sites sheltering Central African refugees in the East and Adamawa regions.
Allocation: US$53,800,000
Years: 2021-2027
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$9,063,452

The US$53.8 million grant complements a larger grant that supports the Program for Education Reform in Cameroon (Programme d'appui à la réforme de l'éducation au Cameroun - PAREC, in French) implemented by the International Development Association (IDA). The program aims to:

  1. Improve access, quality and management of the education system by:
    • promoting a better distribution of newly recruited teachers in public primary schools across the country
    • strengthening teachers' capacities to effectively follow the new curricula in pre-primary and primary schools
    • increasing the number of textbooks on essential subjects available in public primary schools
    • expanding access to preschool activities in rural areas through community preschool centers
    • setting up a standardized assessment system for learning outcomes in primary and secondary schools
    • increasing the proportion of learners achieving the minimum level in reading
    • setting up an integrated functional and operational education management information system
    • improving the educational environment and the quality of children's education in schools located in refugees’ host communities.
  2. Improve school efficiency tby providing performance-based grants to schools. The selection of beneficiary schools will be based on criteria such as:
    • Students’ retention and participation rates (including for girls)
    • Teachers’ absenteeism
    • Improvement in learning conditions (desks, materials, etc.)
    • Improvement in educational supervision
    • Improvement in budget transparency
    • Increase in community satisfaction.
  3. Improve the teaching and learning environment in beneficiary schools, by:
    • strengthening continuous professional development activities for teachers
    • strengthening institutional capacities.

GPE's financial support, which includes a US$15 million from the GPE Multiplier, will specifically contribute to:

  • increase incentives and the scope of current activities, strengthen and extend them in order to harmonize state systems with a view to ensure quality education for all, including for refugees, displaced people and host communities at pre-primary and primary levels
  • establish a disbursement-linked outcome to respond to the challenges posed by the arrival of displaced people in host communities
  • broaden the scope of the school funding program based on PAREC performance.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2022 11,000,000 9,951,262 UNESCO  
Accelerated funding 2019-2021 7,760,000 7,383,779 UNICEF  
Program implementation and Multiplier 2021-2027 53,800,000 9,063,452 WB  
Program implementation 2014-2019 50,761,884 50,761,884 WB Completion report
2007-2011 47,064,100 47,064,100 WB  
Sector plan development 2018-2021 500,000 499,352 WB  
2012-2013 199,424 199,424 WB  
Program development 2020-2021 300,000 264,068 WB  
2013-2014 190,395 190,395 WB  
  Total 171,575,803 125,377,716    
Data last updated: March 17, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Cameroon Education For All Network (CEFAN) for the 2019-2021 period.

This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.

GPE had provided the Cameroon Education For All Network (CEFAN) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Last updated September 09, 2021