COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: World Bank

Key document:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • Production and distribution of educational booklets for vulnerable students
  • Improving the school infrastructure to enable the use of digital tools in vulnerable schools
  • Training teachers on how to use digital classrooms
  • Developing and implementing a social-emotional support strategy for school personnel, students and parents
  • Providing play and hygiene kits to promote safe health practices.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Nicaragua received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with its response to COVID-19. The grant was used to:

  • procure and distribute hygiene kits and technological equipment
  • support connectivity of the ministry’s offices to manage the education response remotely
  • equip teachers with basic didactic materials for distance learning.

Education in Nicaragua

Despite significant progress, such as the reduction to 5% of the adult population’s illiteracy rate and the increase of net primary enrollment rates, Nicaragua faces various challenges in the education sector.

These include a high number of out-of-school children, especially in rural areas, low levels of student learning outcomes in regional assessments (which are linked to poor preparation of primary school teachers and insufficient learning materials), and low quality of preschool education, particularly among disadvantaged rural households.

Adequate baseline data and solid statistics continue to be a problem imposing difficulties in planning as well as in monitoring the sector.

Nicaragua’s strategic education plan includes interventions focused on expanding access to preschool education, universal completion of six grades of primary education, and universal access to lower secondary education (grades 7-9). Institutional strengthening is another transversal priority of the education plan.

The objectives of Nicaragua’s strategic education plan are to:

  1. Promote access and equity by:
    • Accelerating progress in achieving quality universal primary and secondary education, and ensuring a gradual increase in the percentage of students entering, completing and advancing to the next grade.
    • Increasing the participation of boys and girls in early childhood education, with the participation of the educational community and families in early childhood activities that promote adequate youth development.
    • Reducing illiteracy as much as possible and increasing levels of school completion.
  2. Promote a quality education by:
    • Improving the level of student achievement in order to successfully promote personal, family and community development, as well as strengthen national identity.
  3. Strengthen sector management by:
    • Ensuring human and institutional development that promotes efficient and effective educational management.

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Latest grant

Three-year-old Lauri attends Ruben Dario preschool in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

Three-year-old Lauri attends Ruben Dario preschool in Matagalpa, Nicaragua.

CREDIT: GPE/Carolina Valenzuela
Development objective: increase access to preschool education in selected municipalities, and to improve preschool education learning conditions nationwide.
Allocation: US$7,500,000
Years: 2021-2023
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$7,519,393

The GPE $7.5 million grant contributes to the Project Alianza para la Calidad Educativa (ACE),  financed by the World Bank with a loan of US$55 million. The objectives of ACE are to improve:

  1. teachers pedagogical practices in initial education, primary and secondary at the national level
  2. improve the physical conditions of the learning environments in selected educational centers.

The GPE grant supports the expansion of the Quality Education Model for Preschool Education, which has been under implementation since 2012 with support from GPE and the World Bank and continues to be supported under ACE. The grant has 2 components:

  1. Support the improvement of teaching practices through:
    • Adaptation and implementation of the in-service teacher training plan for more early childhood education (ECE) teachers and community educators.
    • Adaptation and implementation of the in-service teacher training plan for more principals, assistant principals, pedagogical advisers and itinerant trainers.
    • Design, production and distribution of 14,400 packages of learning materials for ECE teachers and community educators.
    • Piloting mechanisms for the distribution and monitoring of learning materials, using digital technologies.
  2. Rehabilitation works and provision of equipment to improve learning conditions in approximately 25 additional preschools with at least 25 reference classrooms. School construction, upgrades, and expansion will ensure sanitation facilities for girls provide dignity and comfort.
  3. Support program management by the Ministry of Education

The program will support gender-sensitive interventions included in the parent program, including for curricular contents, classroom practices, school infrastructure needs, and the strengthening of socioemotional skills.

To address gender gaps, the program tracks the percentage of teachers with gender-informed pedagogical practices.

The grant will also further address gender-based violence by supporting MINED’s efforts to incorporate socioemotional skills in education through the activity “Growing in Values” (Creciendo en Valores), which seeks to promote healthy and respectful relationships.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2023-2024 1,000,000 0 UNICEF  
COVID-19 2020-2022 7,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2021-2023 7,500,000 7,519,393 WB  
2013-2017 16,700,000 16,700,000 WB Completion report
2006-2010 17,000,000 17,000,000 WB Completion report
2004-2005 7,000,000 7,000,000 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2015-2017 499,500 499,500 WB Completion report
Program development 2018-2021 360,600 360,590 WB  
  Total 57,060,100 49,079,483    
Data last updated: May 26, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Asociación Foro de Educación y Desarrollo Humano de la Iniciativa por Nicaragua (FEDH-IPN) 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 Asociación Foro de Educación y Desarrollo Humano de la Iniciativa por Nicaragua (FEDH-IPN) 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