In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Comoros received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The ministry was able to procure 13 laptops, 16 internet connection kits, 2 network printers, toner, paper, sanitizing gel, masks, bleach and other products.
Education in Comoros
The education sector in Comoros is beset by the difficulties resulting from the incomplete process of decentralization begun in 2011. Persistent shortcomings may still be observed in the coordination, implementation and monitoring of national policies on education. These failures are attributable to the lack of clarity in defining and assigning the roles and responsibilities of each entity at the central level of the islands, as well as at the local level.
The Government of the Union of Comoros has developed a Transitional Education Sector Plan (TEP) for the years 2017/18 to 2019/20. The plan was validated by the Council of Ministers and endorsed by development partners, members of the local education group, in October 2017.
The TEP covers the entire sector. It proposes key strategies for developing the governance and management of the sector, as well as for improving system access and equity, quality and relevance. The plan has been developed on the basis of data from the CSR conducted in 2012, as well as from annual school data for the period 2013-2015 and from an institutional and performance analysis of the system conducted in 2016 with support from the Dakar Pole (UNESCO-IIPE).
It is accompanied by a budgeted triennial action plan for the period 2018-2020 that was developed from a 2016-2026 simulation model and is aligned with a medium-term expenditure framework developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. It is also accompanied by a 2018-2020 policy letter and a macrofinancial framework note.
In Comoros, the local education group has been in place for several years and is co-chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Education and the coordinating agency (Embassy of France since June 2016). It meets each month and brings together representatives of the national authorities, from both central government and the islands, as well as the principal international and national partners (UNICEF, European Union, Maeecha (local NGO), AFD, World Bank, Teachers Union).
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The Transitional Education Project for the Union of the Comoros (PTEUC), supported by a US$2.3 million GPE grant, combines country-wide interventions with innovative initiatives that have been tested on a sample of institutions (50 public primary schools located on the three islands and representing 15% of the total number of primary schools in the country), or in a geographic area (Moheli).
The project focuses on the primary education level and consists of the following components:
Component I. Governance and Oversight
- Capacity development in the area of governance on an experimental basis at the grassroots level across 50 project schools (targeting public schools only). The outcomes expected include an increase of 15 points in the average scores for French and mathematics achievement tests, a jump of 6 points in retention rates, and a reduction of 5 points in the repetition rate.
- Improvements in the use of school data at the national level through the provision of support for producing statistical yearbooks; and the development of a common culture in the area of oversight, by training actors at the grassroots level involved in the 50 pilot schools to use available statistical data to inform their decisions.
- Improvement of accounting management in the four financial affairs departments (of the Ministry and the three Commissions of the islands), and the development of oversight and monitoring of the TEP (organization of annual sector reviews) and of the GPE program (establishment of four focal points in the national administration offices). Organization of a PASEC-type assessment in 2020, as a follow-up to that conducted in 2017 under the GPE program and also included here.
Component II. Quality
- Pedagogical support to all 4,300 public and private school teachers across the island to complement the assistance already in place or programmed by other partners, including continuing training of teachers in early learning and learning assessment, learning assessments and the supply of teacher kits.
- Distribution of French and mathematics textbooks and teacher guides for the four levels of primary, to ensure that every child has a textbook in the basic disciplines of the revised curriculum.
Component III. Equity
- Develop equity and gender equality by focusing on the standardization of the school entry age for girls and boys, and by improving retention rates in Moheli on the basis of the successful experience in the Nyumakele region of Anjouan. The expected outcomes for the island are a reduction in rates of absenteeism of girls and improvement of their rates of retention.
- Strengthening inclusion by taking account on an experimental basis of the needs of children with disabilities, through measures to adapt classroom facilities, provide devices for the hearing and vision impaired, and train teachers in sign language. The aim is to ensure that, at the end of the project, the attendance rate of children with disabilities is the same as that of other pupils.
Component IV. Project Management. Grant Agent support relates mainly to the management costs that constitute, for the most part, the costs incurred by UNICEF-Comoros and whose coverage includes human resources, logistics, operational support and a contribution towards audit expenses.
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Disbursements||Grant agent|
|Sector plan development||2016-2017||444,274||444,274||UNICEF|
Education sector progress
The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Comoros, 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.