COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$3.5 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: UNICEF

Key document:

The US$3.5 million grant to Guinea-Bissau supports:

  • Development of a distance education program based on the primary curricula, taking into account gender issues and children with special needs
  • A non-formal radio distance education program targeting out-of-school children
  • Assessment of the learning levels of preschool and primary school children to determine the loss of learning caused by school closures
  • An accelerated education program based on the curricula of grade 1 to 6 for children out of school
  • Vulnerable children at risk of dropping out of school through conditional cash transfer
  • Strategies to address school-related gender-based violence
  • School-based health, nutrition services and standards-based WASH facilities to prevent dropouts and keep children safe and healthy
  • Training community volunteers to boost awareness-raising actions for the prevention of COVID-19 and the protection of children, as well as participation in actions to improve the school environment.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Guinea-Bissau 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 Guinea-Bissau

The 2011-2013 transitional education plan (TEP) was endorsed in 2010 and the country organized its first and only joint sector review (JSR) in 2014. The TEP could not be fully implemented due to the coup in 2012, when many donors withdrew. However, the country has taken positive steps by planning to organize annual JSRs as part of its new education sector plan (ESP) monitoring mechanism.

The 2017-2025 education sector plan was endorsed by development partners in 2017. Members of the local education group have strongly mobilized around the GPE model and have provided valuable technical and financial support to the government in the preparation of the sector plan.

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Latest grant

Fourth grade student at the Bissalanca Primary School. Guinea Bissau

Fourth grade student at the Bissalanca Primary School. Guinea Bissau

CREDIT: World Bank/Arne Hoel
Development objective: Improve the teaching and learning environment in grades 1-4 in targeted schools
Allocation: US$4,700,000
Years: 2018-2023
Grant agent: World Bank
Disbursements: US$463,251

The total cost of the program in Guinea-Bissau is US$15 million, and includes a US$4.3 million grant from GPE and US$10.7 million from IDA.

The GPE program has 4 components:

Component 1 aims to strengthen and improve the teaching and learning environment in all community and public primary schools, focusing on grades 1-4, in the two poorest regions by:

  • Encouraging greater community participation in school management
  • Providing financial resources at the school-level to purchase basic supplies, pedagogical materials, and to cover operating costs
  • Improving the inspection system to monitor school performance.

Component 2 aims to improve the quality of instruction by:

  • Establishing standards and harmonizing the system for teacher training
  • Introducing and rolling out the new curriculum for grades 1-4
  • Improving in-service teachers’ content knowledge and skills to effectively teach basic literacy and numeracy
  • Improving student learning outcomes in Portuguese and mathematics in early grades.

Component 3 aims to improve the overall functioning of the education system by increasing the availability of data to guide decision-making and by strengthening the overall capacity of the ministry of education. The component includes 2 sub-components: sector studies and project management.

The project management sub-component will also finance training activities for the ministry of education staff and the recruitment of additional expertise. The data collected through the school mapping exercise will help the ministry determine a cost-effective way to expand the current system.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 3,500,000 0 UNICEF  
Program implementation 2018-2023 4,700,000 463,251 World Bank Progress report
2012-2017 12,000,000 11,981,725 UNICEF Progress report
Sector plan development 2017-2018 183,661 190,999 UNICEF  
Program development 2020 136,000 0 World Bank  
2016-2018 200,000 200,000 World Bank  
  Total 20,719,661 12,835,975    
Data last updated: October 06, 2020

GPE has also provided the Rede de Campanha de Educação Para Todos Guiné-Bissau (RECEPT GB) 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 Guinea-Bissau, 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 August 21, 2020