COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$3.5 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$3.5 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • improving access to quality remote learning through developing and broadcasting lessons for TV, radio and an e-learning platform, providing learning materials for vulnerable children with limited access, and providing professional development to teachers, advisors and inspectors on the effective delivery of remote learning approaches
  • healthy and safe re-opening of schools, with psychosocial support programs in primary and middle schools, latrines and WASH infrastructure to provide improved school hygiene, back-to-school campaigns to motivate vulnerable students at risk of drop-out (girls, students with disabilities), learning diagnostic when schools reopen, literacy courses for refugee families, and remedial lessons to cover missed content
  • strengthening resilience to emergencies of the education sector by establishing an SMS-type system and purchasing equipment for better communication between schools, teachers and families, and to facilitate surveys for feedback and monitoring; providing educational hardware, software and internet connectivity for schools in disadvantaged zones; and establishing a dedicated education technology team to manage resources to be made available within regional centers to strengthen their capacity to respond independently to learning needs and local emergencies.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Djibouti received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with distance learning programs, including paper-based learning.

Education in Djibouti

The government of Djibouti recognizes education as essential for growth and human development. As a result, the government has placed education at the center of its development policies. In 2000, an education reform was initiated with the goal of improving access, quality, and relevance.

Despite progress in increasing access and coverage in education, access to education continues to be one of the country’s major challenges. Other challenges include quality, the availability of learning materials, and disparities due to gender, geographic areas, and socio-economic status.

The education sector plan (2010-2019) is focused on six main objectives:

  1. Develop preschool education in collaboration with the private sector, the community, and public institutions, focusing on students from rural areas and impoverished backgrounds.
  2. Achieve 100% enrollment in primary education and 79% in middle school by 2019.
  3. Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, and achieving gender equality by 2019.
  4. Guarantee that all students learn at least 75% of the skills defined by the language, mathematics, science, and life skills curriculum.
  5. Reform secondary education, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to ensure relevancy of training to the labor market.
  6. Improve governance practices at all levels to ensure effective and efficient management and utilization of services.

The government also developed an education action plan for 2014-2016. The action plan for 2017-2019 is being finalized. This action plan focuses on specific strategies for pre-primary education, primary, middle school, secondary school, and TVET.

These strategies include:

  • Develop public preschools in rural areas and for special education services based on a community model to increase enrollment rates.
  • Support schools at all levels in developing quality frameworks, monitoring, and educational projects for student success.
  • Increase the availability of textbooks and learning materials, and produce digital educational content and software to facilitate student learning.
  • Revise and update the curriculum from primary school to TVET schools.
  • Create standardized assessment tools in accordance with national and international standards.
  • Provide training to teachers, educational consultants, school management, and staff.
  • Improve the transition time between primary and middle school education.
  • Increase the percentage of students attending high school and the percentage admitted to further education.
  • An action plan for the period 2017-2019 has been prepared by the country and endorsed by partners in mid-2017.

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Latest grant

A classroom in Djibouti

School children in Djibouti.

CREDIT: Pierre Alain
Development objective: increase equitable access to basic education, improve teaching practices and strengthen the ministry’s management capacity.
Allocation: US$9,250,000
Years: 2020
Grant agent: World Bank
Disbursements: US$0

The design of the proposed program is innovative, as the total program of US$28.8 million (co-funded by GPE, IDA-World Bank and Educate a Child’s fund) is split between:

  • an investment project financing modality for US$10.8 million that will support interventions that have already been defined and costed,
  • a results-based financing modality for US$18 million that will allow for eligible expenditures (salaries, operational costs and training costs, included in the government’s annual budget, needed to implement key activities and reforms contributing to the achievement of targets) to be reimbursed after targets of disbursement-linked indicators have been reached.

The GPE grant of US$10 million will cover a large share of the investment project financing with the US$7 million fixed part, while the variable part of US$3 million will be used via the results-based financing.

The disbursement-linked indicators are integrated in the design of the first three components of the project, while the GPE variable part indicators are integrated in components 2 and 3.

Component 1: Support the establishment of quality standards for preschool education and improvement of preschool classroom pedagogy by:

  • revising the preschool curriculum and associated teaching and learning materials, based on a quality framework with a quality assurance mechanism, to allow for successful transition to primary education
  • strengthening preschool teacher capacity to implement a play-based approach to learning and integration of life skills, through pre-service and in-service training
  • expanding public preschool classrooms through the construction of 15 new classrooms and rehabilitation of 26 existing classrooms.

Component 2: Support the expansion of access to primary and lower secondary education and retention of vulnerable populations, including refugees, girls, rural students and special needs students:

  • Develop a medium-term school expansion plan to modernize school infrastructure with climate change considerations
  • Rehabilitate rural primary and lower secondary schools with water point, latrines and an electrical or solar power source
  • Operationalize primary and lower secondary school canteens
  • Support the Ministry to assume operation of refugee schools in camps formerly run by NGOs or UNHCR to make them part of the national education system in line with the pledge in the Education Action Plan of the Djibouti Declaration
  • Develop a strategy and campaign to promote inclusive education
  • Develop local plans in all five regions of the country to promote enrollment and reduce dropout through locally-identify solutions, on a pilot basis.

Component 3: Build capacity to support teaching and learning

  • Improve the quality of two types of assessments: the evaluation of learning outcomes in reading and math at grade 4, and the primary school exams at grade 2 and grade 5, known as the Objectifs Terminaux d’Intégration (OTI)
  • Introduce an evaluation of digital competencies at primary school for grade 4 students.

Component 4: Support modernization of the education management information system (EMIS) and support project management, monitoring and evaluation, and improvements in management in the Ministry of education and professional training (MINEFOP)

The project will be implemented by the MENFOP and the World bank acting as grant agent.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 3,300,000 0 World Bank  
Program implementation and multiplier 2020 9,250,000 0 World Bank  
Program implementation 2014-2018 3,798,499 3,798,499 World Bank Completion report
2010-2013 3,998,074 3,998,073 World Bank Completion report
2006-2010 8,000,000 8,000,000 World Bank  
Sector plan development 2020-2023 450,000 0 UNICEF  
2018-2020 287,229 81,747 UNICEF  
2017-2018 212,517 212,517 UNICEF  
2013 161,534 161,534 UNICEF  
Program development 2018-2019 200,000 199,105 World Bank  
2013 198,941 198,941 World Bank  
  Total 29,856,794 16,650,416    
Data last updated: July 27, 2020

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Djibouti, 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 May 17, 2020