In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Honduras 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 Honduras
The education system In Honduras has four levels: pre-primary (pre-básica), primary and lower secondary (básica), upper secondary (media), and post-secondary (media superior).
Compulsory education includes 13 years, covering the last year of preschool, nine years of primary and lower secondary and three years of upper secondary.
While the country has made significant progress in expanding access to primary education, enrollment in other levels of schooling is still lagging. The main challenges are low access to preschool and secondary education as well as weak learning outcomes across the education system, low number of trained teachers and insufficient learning materials.
The Education sector plan (Plan Estrategico del Sector Educacion), covering the 2018-2030 period, provides a vision of the transformations that the national education system requires by 2030.
The country has improved sector planning and monitoring, but coordination among government institutions in charge of education need to be strengthened.
Civil society groups (e.g. parents’ and students’ groups and local communities) attempt to engage in sector dialogue but lack of capacity and lack of clear lines for dialogue with the government impede meaningful contributions to education policy.
There is a well-established development partners group (Mesa Redonda de Cooperantes Externos en Educación), however many donors work independently with the government.
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The program, supported by a US$10 million grant from the GPE Multiplier, focuses resources in priority areas as per the education sector analysis and education sector plan (Plan Estratégico de Educación) recommendations.
The World Bank, acting as GPE grant agent, co-finances the program and supports the country’s ESP implementation.
The program has 4 components:
- Strengthen the ministry of Education’s institutional capacity for preschool management
- Update curricular design for all preschool service modalities and improve teaching practices of preschool educators nationwide
- Improve physical learning environments in preschools serving vulnerable children in targeted regions
- Improve program management and evaluation by establishing a system to track funds by source, financing audit costs and hiring independent verification agents for the verification of all disbursement linked indicators (DLIs).
The program preparation process involved extensive consultations with members of the local education group and the development partner group, as well as with the Coordinating Committee of Education Networks of Honduras (COMCORDE) and Foro Dakar (Civil society funded through GPE’s CSEF grant). It also used a hybrid program design with results-based financing using disbursement linked indicators.
As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Foro Dakar Honduras 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 Foro Dakar Honduras 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.