COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$3.5 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: Islamic Development Bank

Key documents:

The US$3.5 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Learning continuity through distance learning (digital platforms, TV, radio, and paper-based materials/offline content with direct support from teachers through SMS communication)
  • Developing remedial and accelerated learning programs especially among vulnerable groups during the schools’ closure.
  • Using ICT/digital technology in the education system and strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of National Education in setting-up and monitoring a distance learning mechanism.
  • Awareness campaigns for students, parents and teachers to address barriers that stop children from going to school, as well as acquire hygiene supplies.
  • Vulnerable children especially girls in poor areas
  • Training teachers to provide psychosocial support to students, especially girls.
  • Preparing facilities for schools reopening in non-risky conditions.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Mauritania 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 Mauritania

Mauritania has remained to developing its education sector since 1999, when the government began a structural reform of the education system. The government’s medium-term vision is to achieve universal completion of primary education and to regulate and improve the relevance and quality of post-primary levels.

The education sector has seen significant progress within the last years, particularly in terms of primary schooling access and completion. Between 2000-2001 and 2012-2013, the gross enrollment rates increased from 88% to 97%. The primary completion rates also rose from 53% in 2002 to 71% in 2013.

Despite this progress, several issues persist and still need to be addressed in the sector. They include:

  • low quality basic education
  • low access to and quality of secondary education
  • weak involvement of civil society, local communities, and the private sector
  • low transition rate to secondary school was only 55% for girls and 61% for boys in 2013
  • the lack of qualified teachers in secondary school.

To address these issues, the country has developed its second education sector plan (PNDSE II), which covers the period of 2011–2020. This plan encompasses 11 objectives:

  1. Develop access of disadvantaged groups in urban and rural areas to public and community preschool education,
  2. Promote access to education for out-of-school children and foster retention of those in school to achieve primary universal completion by 2020,
  3. Progress towards universal completion of secondary education and reduce disparities related to gender, geographic and socio-economic conditions,
  4. Regulate the flow in numbers of students and teaching force in secondary education in order to better align the education system outputs with the market needs,
  5. Develop technical and vocational training adapted to social demand and the needs of the formal and informal sectors of the economy,
  6. Establish a balanced development policy for higher education and promote scientific research,
  7. Improve learning quality and relevance of education at all levels,
  8. Fight illiteracy through functional literacy and post-literacy programs,
  9. Promote traditional teaching and enhance its contribution to basic education,
  10. Develop and implement new management strategy of human resources and materials for equitable distribution of educational opportunities and for effective transformation of inputs into results,
  11. Strengthen management in the sector by pursuing the decentralization process, involving all stakeholders, and developing management tools.

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Latest grant

Development objective: improve the quality of teaching and learning in primary schools across the country and improve primary school education service delivery in targeted regions.
Allocation: US$12,500,000
Years: 2020-2026
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$3,493,981

The US$12.5 million grant supports a five-year program, titled Basic Education Support Project II (PASEB II) that targets 6 of the regions with the lowest achievement rates for all school-age children.

The grant is composed of an implementation grant of US$7.5 million and a Multiplier grant of US$5 million. The total program cost is US$52.5 million, and the World Bank co-funds the remaining US$40 million.

The program has three objectives:

  1. Transforming teacher management nationwide using accountability frameworks and new technology, through:
    • Improving the allocation of new teachers across schools throughout the country
    • Reinforcing teacher management and enhancing teachers’ professional development, and implement strategic staffing to improve the quality of teachers
    • Using scripted lessons to improve reading, writing and mathematics in the early grades.
  2. Improving education service delivery in selected regions through a better allocation of resources and enhanced school-based management by:
    • Improving access to and quality of education through a decentralized approach
    • Establishing dynamic and empowered primary schools with school grants and reinforced school-based management.
  3. Strengthening the management of the education sector by:
    • building capacity for managers at all levels
    • financing material and equipment for Regional Directorates to fulfill their supervision role and support service delivery in their regions
    • strengthening the capacity of the National Assessment Unit and organizing annual service delivery indicators and EGRA/EGMA surveys to monitor learning outcomes as well as teachers’ knowledge and capacity to teach
    • financing furniture, equipment, technical assistance, and training to central directorates responsible for daily project implementation
    • performing audits of the project accounts; organizing launch, mid-term, and completion workshops
    • running consultation workshops with teachers’ unions and representatives of civil society, and communication campaigns.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2022 3,500,000 2,242,511 IsDB  
Program implementation and Multiplier 2020-2026 12,500,000 3,493,981 WB Progress report
Program implementation 2014-2018 12,000,897 12,000,987 WB Completion report
2008-2012 13,998,039 13,998,039 WB Completion report
2004-2007 4,000,000 4,000,000 WB  
2004-2006 5,000,000 5,000,000 WB  
System capacity 2021-2024 700,000 0 UNESCO  
Program development 2018-2019 198,197 198,197 WB  
2012-2013 132,212 132,212 WB  
  Total 52,029,345 41,065,927    
Data last updated: March 17, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Coalition of Mauritanian Organizations for Education (COMEDUC) 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 Coalition of Mauritanian Organizations for Education (COMEDUC) 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.

Last updated September 10, 2021