COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Continuity of learning in a protective and inclusive environment (remote learning platform; digital learning content; virtual library of resources available through radio, TV, mobile phone, internet; printed materials; recording studio at the ministry of Education; distribution of solar radios to vulnerable households; gender-sensitive prevention, protection and psychosocial support messaging; psychosocial support program).
  • Return to schools in a safe and inclusive environment (prevention and control protocols; handwashing/hygiene kits and thermometers for schools; capacity building of teachers and school management committees; communication campaign; remedial education/accelerated learning programs; revision of the school calendar and examination schedules).
  • Vulnerable groups such as girls, internally displaced/returnee children, and children with disabilities will receive solar radios, printed materials, psychosocial support, remedial learning classes, and distribution of school and hygiene kits.
  • Gender sensitization messages will target children, parents, religious and community leaders and the entire community to promote continuity of learning with a special focus on girls.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Mali 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 Mali

Mali’s transitional education sector plan was developed following a period of unconstitutional rule and civil war. It aims to continue some of the work of the previous ten-year sector plan and also restore the school system in areas affected by conflict.

The government of Mali is committed to continuing the implementation of its education development policies to enhance the quality and efficiency of the education system.

The education sector has recently faced considerable challenges due to political instability. Between 2011 and 2013, progress made in the previous decade eroded: The primary gross enrollment ratio decreased from 92% to 83.5%, while the completion rate decreased from 62% to 59%.

The interim education sector plan, the Programme intérimaire de relance du secteur de l’éducation et de la formation professionnelle (PIRSEF) covers 2015-2016 and has been extended till the end of 2017. It is focused on improving quality, access, and governance in the education sector.

The PIRSEF encompasses three main components:

  1. Improve the quality of teaching and learning by improving professional qualifications for learners, adapting training offerings, and promoting scientific research.
  2. Improve access to education by building and rehabilitating more facilities, recruiting teachers, fostering social mobilization and stakeholder involvement, and promoting inclusive education.
  3. Strengthen the governance of education and vocational training by involving communities in school management, supporting the monitoring and evaluation system, and supporting the preparation of a Ten Year Education Sector Plan.

The government of Mali has also pledged to focus on reducing gender disparities, establishing disaster mitigation measures, and improving reading and writing in the early grades.

The government is in the process of developing a new sector plan, with support from a small grant from GPE to carry out the sector analysis.

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Latest grant

School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali.

School children in a classroom in Gao, Mali.

CREDIT: UN Photo/Marco Dormino
Development objective: Improve conditions for better learning outcomes, promote girls' access to lower and upper secondary education in underserved regions, and enhance the governance of the education system.
Allocation: US$45,700,000
Years: 2020-2021
Grant agent: WB
Disbursements: US$0

The program financed by the US$45.7 million GPE grant is co-financed by IDA with a US$30 million loan and US$50 million grant. Of the total budget of US$125.7 million, close to US$45 million are reserved for results-based financing. The program has the following components:

  • Component 1: Improve the quality of basic and secondary schools by enhancing teaching and learning conditions through curriculum reform, provision of adequate pre- and in-service teacher training, improving the availability of instructional materials and laboratories, school-level quality improvement initiatives, and establishing quality standards for secondary schools.
  • Component 2: Address the critical challenges of low enrollment, transition and retention of girls in basic education 2 and general secondary as well as the increasing number of out-of-school youth. The component will address both supply and demand-side factors, including school feeding programs
  • Component 3: Strengthen decentralized education management system and monitoring and evaluation, including support to school-based management and innovations to address school closure in areas of conflict as well as institutional.
  • Component 4: Contingency emergency response to provide an immediate response to an eligible crisis or emergency.
  • Component 5: project monitoring and management.

In late March 2020, the country was awarded an accelerated grant of US$9.14 million to complement the US$45.7 million grant.

The funding targets 200,000 students, who will benefit from accelerated learning programs, remedial courses, and pedagogical and learning materials to ensure school continuity in areas affected by school closure in the central region of Mopti and the northeastern regions of Menaka and Kidal.

This additional funding will be included under component 3 of the original program.

Its overall aim is to address community innovations for improved resilience and better education service delivery, and it has two components:

  1. School-based management through the training of 3,000 school management committee members and school directors on school health and sanitation.
  2. Solutions for school closures through activities like:
    • building 240 classrooms (pop-up schools and temporary classrooms) in areas affected by conflict and fragility,
    • rehabilitating 1,188 classrooms in primary and lower secondary schools located in areas affected by conflict and fragility,
    • acquiring digital equipment and disseminating digital content for remote learning to ensure school continuity
    • providing 68,300 school supply kits for primary and lower secondary students in security-challenged areas
    • providing food rations to existing school canteens in affected areas to serve 45,000 students per year
    • providing kitchen equipment to 150 school feeding sites in affected areas
    • providing equipment, supplies and operating costs to the technical committee in charge of managing schooling in affected areas.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2020-2021 9,140,000 0 WB  
COVID-19 2020-2021 7,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2020 45,700,000 0 WB  
2013-2017 41,012,073 41,012,073 WB Completion report
2007-2010 6,553,547 6,553,547 WB  
Sector plan development 2016-2019 442,604 442,604 UNICEF  
Program development 2018-2019 199,852 199,852 WB  
2012-2013 182,246 182,246 WB  
  Total 110,230,322 48,390,322    
Data last updated: March 15, 2021

GPE has also provided the Coalition of Civil Society Organizations for Education for All (COSCEPT) 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 Mali, 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

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 September 10, 2020