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
Honduras sees education as a critical investment in its future growth and development. A major reform in the education sector was the approval of the Education Law in 2012 that expanded basic education from grade 6 to grade 9, made one year of preschool mandatory, and made amendments to the teacher hiring and supervision system, among other measures.
Honduras faces several challenges in the education sector including the improvement of education quality, the evaluation of learning outcomes in Spanish and math, and of teacher performance.
The country is about to release a new and comprehensive education sector plan, which has been developed with financial support from GPE.
The previous education sector plan outlined the following strategic areas :
- Improving access to education by:
- Ensuring that all children, youth, and adults, regardless of their ethnicity, socio-economic background or disabilities have access to the education system, either through formal education or alternative learning programs such as distance and accelerated learning. These alternative learning programs aim to bring back out-of-school children, youth and adults to the education system.
- Establishing proper mechanisms to ensure that children complete the ninth grade of basic education in a timely way to avoid having over-aged children in the education system.
- Guaranteeing access to the education system to youth and adults that started their studies but never finished them.
- Increasing access opportunities for disadvantaged populations by focusing on rural municipalities that present the highest poverty levels.
- Improving the quality of education by:
- Creating a basic national curriculum that is relevant to all regions and reflects the history and culture of Honduras.
- Providing ongoing training opportunities for teachers and administrative staff of the ministry of education.
- Creating a national system for the evaluation, accreditation and certification of the quality of education.
- Creating a system of incentives to improve the performance of teachers, students, and schools.
- Provisioning school furniture for all education facilities.
- Promoting mother tongue instruction for indigenous populations.
- Improving the efficiency of the education system by:
- Complying with the 200 instruction days outlined in the 2012 education law “Ley Fundamental de Educación”.
- Redeploying teaching human resources.
- Providing social benefits for children, youth and adults who are enrolled in school such as transport subventions and school meals.
- Improving competitiveness by:
- Strengthening the instruction of the English language.
- Applying and strengthening information and communication technologies.
- Constructing and improving the infrastructure of technical and vocational education centers.
- Improving the management and efficiency of the ministry of education by:
- Implementing the regulations outlined in the 2012 Ley Fundamental de Educación.
- Ensuring a greater transparency within public sector functions, accountability, and the dissemination of information.
- Developing the strategic institutional plan for 2014-2018 and an annual budget based on results-oriented programs.
- Improving the education infrastructure.
- Encouraging greater participation of the educational community by:
- Empowering parents.
- Encouraging ownership and operation of the educational development councils (Consejos Educativos de Desarrollo or CED in Spanish).
- Increasing community participation through the municipal and district councils (Consejos Municipales de Desarrollo or COMDE, and Consejos Distritales de Desarrollo Educativo or CODDE).
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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.
GPE has also provided the Foro Dakar Honduras (FDH) 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 Honduras, and GPE dada 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.