Transforming 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.

Result story

Nicaragua: Safer and resilient schools after Hurricane Julia

The ministry of education and UNICEF, with the support of GPE, are reactivating learning spaces to ensure at least 150 students in preschool and multigrade primary schools can continue to learn.


(data as of November 29, 2023)

  • Type: Accelerated funding

    Years: 2023 - 2024

    Allocation: US$1,000,000

    Utilization: US$2,316

    Grant agent: UNICEF

  • Type: Program implementation

    Years: 2021 - 2023

    Allocation: US$7,500,000

    Utilization: US$7,448,244

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: COVID-19

    Years: 2020 - 2022

    Allocation: US$7,000,000

    Utilization: US$6,992,621

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: Program development

    Years: 2018 - 2021

    Allocation: US$360,600

    Utilization: US$360,590

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: Sector plan development

    Years: 2015 - 2017

    Allocation: US$499,500

    Utilization: US$499,500

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: Program implementation

    Years: 2013 - 2017

    Allocation: US$16,700,000

    Utilization: US$16,700,000

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: Program implementation

    Years: 2006 - 2010

    Allocation: US$17,000,000

    Utilization: US$17,000,000

    Grant agent: WB

  • Type: Program implementation

    Years: 2004 - 2005

    Allocation: US$7,000,000

    Utilization: US$7,000,000

    Grant agent: WB

Civil society engagement

  • GPE’s Education Out Loud fund supported the Asociación Foro de Educación y Desarrollo Humano de la Iniciativa por Nicaragua (FEDH-IPN) for the 2019-2021 period.
  • Previously, GPE had provided FEDH-IPN with a Civil Society Education Fund grant to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.
  • Learn more

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