Allocation: US$11 million
Grant agent: AFD/UNICEF
The US$11 million COVID-19 grant supports:
- Strengthened system resilience and coordination with the national budget through Niger’s sector pooled funding mechanism, while also responding effectively to immediate needs
- Distance learning by radio, complemented by the distribution of printed materials for the most marginalized populations
- Institutions that provide remedial or alternative education where formal schooling is not available
- Safe reopening of schools with WASH interventions
- Refugee or displaced children through the distribution of radios and school meals
- Girls by addressing the barriers to learning they face, with back-to-school campaigns and menstrual hygiene kits for the new school year
The program is supported by two grant agents with complementary roles: Agence Française de Développement and UNICEF.
In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Niger 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 Niger
The government of Niger is focused on improving the long run performance of the education sector through launching several major reforms.
The education sector in Niger faces several challenges that negatively affect the sector’s progress. Universal primary education coverage and completion is hindered by a high population growth rate, low enrollment rate, and high dropout rate. Access and completion is worse among vulnerable groups including girls in rural areas, children in nomadic areas, and children with disabilities. Niger’s education sector is also affected by frequent weather shocks.
The education & training sector plan for 2014-2024 reaffirms the commitment of the government to making education and training a priority.
The plan outlines a series of priorities, including:
- Improve the quality of basic education by introducing mother tongue instruction in early grades, bettering pedagogical supervision, and increasing the supply of teaching and learning materials.
- Continue the recruitment of state-paid contract teachers and decrease reliance on civil service teachers.
- Establish a new recruitment and redeployment strategy to relocate teachers to rural areas.
- Develop incentive programs to increase girls’ enrollment and retention.
- Extend pre-school coverage through community structures and constructing classrooms, especially in rural areas.
- Implement a school construction program to adequately meet population pressures.
- Improve the learning environment through curricula revision, decreasing the pupil/teacher ratio, and producing contextualized materials.
- Create an environment conducive to improving the relevance of higher education to create skilled human capital through various programs involving teacher development, strengthening scientific research, and expanding higher education offers.
- Implement a literacy and non-formal education program to reach those who have never attended school or have dropped out.
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The €77.3 million grant will contribute to the implementation of the education sector plan through the Education Sector Common Fund (Fonds Commun Sectoriel de l’Education - FCSE), which is a multi-donor pooled fund providing aid-on-budget financing, or ringfenced budget support. This modality represents a significant shift from the previous modality, which was not aligned with national systems.
The FCSE follows the priorities of the education sector plan, which is aligned with the annual operational planning and reporting framework of the government and ministries of education, as well as with the country’s public financial management systems.
GPE’s grant is composed of a fixed part of €54.11 million and a variable part based on results of €23.19 million.
The program has three main objectives:
- Reduce regional disparities in access and completion of basic education through a better consideration of the regional and local differences to address inequities in education access and outcomes, notably affecting girls and rural populations. This implies targeting improvements in the lagging regions of the country, deepening decentralization and devolution, better resource allocation to improve service delivery, greater efficiency in public expenditure and targeted improvements for learning in the early years of primary.
- Improve learning outcomes, prioritizing a focus on language and reading for the first three years of primary, and French and mathematics in 6th grade. This aims to increase the effectiveness and rationale of teacher placement, addressing challenges of unequal allocation and deployment of teachers to reduce inequalities, particularly between urban and rural areas.
- Increase government capacity, particularly of local actors, for improved governance of the education system, particularly for personnel management. This aims to strengthen governance and administration, including better evidence and needs-based resource allocation, coordination, and transparency of all resources (regular national budget and external aid), and improved quality of public expenditure for results.
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Disbursements||Grant agent|
|COVID-19||2020||11,000,000||0||Agence Francaise de Developpement, UNICEF|
|Program implementation||2020||85,100,034 *||0||Agence Francaise de Developpement|
|2014-2019||84,200,000||80,046,125||World Bank||Progress report|
|2009-2012||7,515,736||7,515,736||World Bank||Completion report|
|Sector plan development||2018-2019||482,007||482,007||UNICEF|
|Program development||2019||242,347||0||Agence Francaise de Developpement|
* This grant was approved in euros. The amount in euros is 77.3 million.
GPE has also provided the Coalition of Trade Union Associations and NGOs of the EFA Campaign in Niger (ASO-EPT) 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 Niger, 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 – 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.