COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • learning continuity during school closures through distance learning and facilitating smooth integration of children to schools after reopening
  • Sensibilization and prevention activities for children and parents (WASH kits)
  • continued learning for the most vulnerable children (girls, children from the poorest households, refugee, returnee and internally displaced children, and children with disabilities) including through the provision of learning kits and radios
  • teacher training of on gender-based violence, psychosocial support and hygiene, with special emphasis on girls and other vulnerable groups
  • building a more resilient education system with a longer-term vision (i.e. tents will be added to increase schools’ capacities to host children and decrease the student/classroom ratio for social distancing)
  • partnership both at the central and local levels with the involvement of parents, CSOs and decentralized ministry services.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Central African Republic 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 the Central African Republic

The 2013 crisis has had extremely negative impacts on the education system. The Education Cluster Survey on the State of Education reported that enrollment rates had plunged 6% in 2015 compared to 2012 since schools were not operational. The main reasons for this are a lack of teachers (49% of cases), population displacement (31%), destruction of premises (21%), and insecurity (26%).

In addition, there have been 81 reported cases of attacks on the education system since 2017. Qualified teachers fleeing the fighting in rural areas are often replaced by poorly qualified or unqualified parent-teachers, with public primary schools counting 61%of parent-teachers.

The 2015-2017 Transitional Plan was designed to drive a gradual return to normal school activities, for primary education especially, and smooth sector operations to enable the  resumption of the development path. Three specific objectives were built into the plan:

  • Support the return to normal school operations by facilitating the transition from emergency activities to normal teaching conditions
  • Restore the pre-2013 quantitative and qualitative level of primary and secondary education and the country’s pre-crisis educational development trends by 2017;
  • Place the sector’s authorities in a position to formulate new long-term sectoral forecasts.

The country has decided to extend the Transitional Plan to 2018 and 2019. This extension is in keeping with the Central African Republic’s National Recovery and Peacebuilding Plan (RCPCA) to enable the sustainability of achievements.

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Latest grant

A young student is patiently waiting for her teacher

A young student is patiently waiting for her teacher to announce the answer to a question in math class. CAR, 2015.

Development objective: Improve access to education in a safe environement for pre-primary and primary age children, in particular girls and disadvantaged children; train teachers and provide a monitoring framework and support to increase the quality of education; and improve governance in the sector through better management tools, monitoring and evaluation of the ministry
Allocation: US$6,320,000
Years: 2018-2020
Grant agent: UNICEF
Disbursements: US$0

In September 2018, the GPE Board approved US$6.3 million in accelerated funding to CAR, to provide pre-primary and primary students with a range of interventions, including classrooms in areas where displaced families are located, learning materials, meals, water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and additional teachers as well as training for them.

The program has four components to support the implementation of the revised Transitional Plan:

Component 1, designed to improve the school supply and the learning environment for better access to pre-primary and primary education, has three sub-components that will be implemented with NGO support. Sub-component 1 provides for the construction of 50 new hangar-type classrooms to improve learning conditions; 100 semi-permanent pre-primary classrooms in tents for schools without a pre-primary level; and water, sanitation and hygiene infrastructures (refurbishment/construction of 70 latrine blocks and construction of 16 wells) to raise the proportion of girls in school. Sub-components 2 and 3 provide respectively for schools targeted by the project to be equipped with school bench desks; and in order to relieve families, for children attending school to be provided with a meal and girls with hygiene kits. Sub-component 3 will also include a school enrollment campaign.

Component 2 has four sub-components to ensure that children have access to an inclusive, quality and protective education service during emergency situations. Sub-component 1 provides for temporary learning and child protection spaces (ETAPES) to be set up on displacement sites and for host community school-intake capacity building to ensure an emergency supply of education for children out of school. Sub-component 1 also provides for a six-day training course for ETAPES parent-teachers; parent-teachers to be paid a monthly bonus of XAF35,000; a training course for ETAPES pre-primary teachers and ETAPES fitted with suitable pre-primary furniture; outreach activities for pre-adolescents and adolescents to reduce the risks of sexual abuse, different types of exploitation and other at-risk behavior; and psychosocial support for children affected by the conflict. With sub-component 2, 48,000 school kits will be prepositioned in places decided on in consultation with the Education Cluster and the Ministry for Primary, Secondary and Technical Education and Literacy (MEPSTA) Emergency Unit. MEPSTA’s emergency management capacities will be built and the government will be supported with the implementation of the Safe Schools Declaration under sub-components 3 and 4.

Component 3 is intended to improve the quality of primary and pre-primary education. Under subcomponent 1, the funding will continue to work on the activities implemented by the previous GPE grant: pre-service training for two cohorts of teachers (3rd year for the 2nd cohort of 500 teachers and 2nd year for the 3rd cohort of 500 teachers); and a six-day in-service training course on teaching techniques for approximately 600 teachers. Teachers who attend the in-service training course will also benefit from follow-up by sector heads. Sub-component 2 provides for pre-primary training for teachers newly recruited in pre-primary classes created by the project and teacher handbooks for final year pre-primary classes; and a pre-primary kit to be provided to each of the classes created. It is also plans to provide the 100 pre-primary parent-teachers with subsidies once they have been trained. Sub-component 3 provides for e-readers, introduced since 2015, to be supplied to teachers with Expertise France, Libraries Without Borders, the Bangui Alliance Française and UNICEF.

Component 4, with its three sub-components, provides for vehicles for the key ministry directorates, assistance to the Permanent Technical Secretariat with its coordination role, and light refurbishment of the Regional Teacher Training Centers (CPR); assistance with holding workshops on key topics and organizing joint interdepartmental missions; development of educational programs that can be broadcast over the school broadcasting system; and education management information system (EMIS) capacity building.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 7,000,000 0 UNICEF  
Accelerated funding 2018-2020 6,320,000 0 UNICEF  
2013-2015 3,646,253 0 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2014-2018 15,510,000 15,510,000 UNICEF  
2009-2015 37,595,774 37,759,330 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2019-2020 500,000 0 WB  
2014 9,559 9,559 UNICEF  
2012-2013 36,801 36,801 WB  
Program development 2019-2020 400,000 0 WB  
2012-2013 77,109 77,109 WB  
  Total 71,095,496 53,392,799    
Data last updated: January 04, 2021

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Central Africa Republic, 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

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 May 21, 2020