COVID-19 response

Rwanda is the first country to be approved for COVID-19 funding and received US$10 million to address the immediate education challenges posed by the pandemic and contribute to building a more resilient education system for future crises.

Allocation: US$10 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The GPE program supports the equitable expansion of remote learning opportunities by broadcasting curriculum-aligned radio lessons, along with promoting the use of alternative audio-visual materials on TV and on social media.

To ensure the safe return to school of all students when the lockdown ends, the existing model of school grants will be revised to include COVID-19 response measures:

  • increasing the provision of hand washing facilities and water tanks
  • establishing catch-up programs for students at risk of repetition or dropout
  • supplemental grants to provide lunch and learning materials to the most vulnerable pre-primary and primary students for the first term after reopening.
  • training teachers in school safety guidelines through radio, television and online channels.
  • a back-to-school campaign to educate students and the community at large on disease prevention and ensure all children, including girls and children with disabilities, return to school.

These initiatives are based on the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Rwanda received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with the overall development and implementation of remote learning, as well as overall coordination of the education sector response to school closure.

Education in Rwanda

Rwanda considers education a critical investment for the country’s future growth and development. This is evidenced by the increased share of the national budget allocated to the education sector, which is projected to increase from 17% in 2012/13 to 22% in 2017/18.

In the past few years, the education system in Rwanda has gone through an impressive period of growth especially in terms of access. Still, the country faces many challenges such as the onerous task of double-shift teaching for the primary school teachers and the language transition from French to English for grades 4 and above, which has been very difficult for teachers who do not have adequate time to improve their proficiency in English language.

The concepts of universal equitable access and quality education provision are the foundation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) 2013/14 -2017/18. This plan builds upon the national priority of making quality twelve-year basic education available for all children and also reflects the country’s mission to make education at all levels more accessible.

The ESSP outlines three main goals:

  • Promoting access to education at all levels
  • Improving the quality of education and training
  • Strengthening the relevance of education and training to meet labor market demands.

Equity in access to education is emphasized to ensure that disadvantaged students, such as girls, the poor and the disabled, have access to quality learning opportunities.

The following expected outcomes have been developed based on the goals mentioned above:

  • Expand access to 12 years of basic education
  • Increase access for students with special needs
  • Improve learning outcomes across primary and secondary education
  • Ensure qualified, suitably-skilled and motivated teachers
  • Increase equitable access to relevant, high-quality, demand-driven TVET programs
  • Increase equitable access to affordable higher education
  • Improve access to school readiness programs
  • Strengthen performance in science, technology and innovation at all levels
  • Increase access to Adult Basic Education to improve adult literacy and numeracy
  • Improve administrative and management support services.

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Latest grant

Development objective: enhance quality and efficiency with inclusivity in basic education for a knowledge-based economy.
Allocation: US$30,800,000
Years: 2020-2024
Grant agent: UNICEF
Disbursements: US$0

The Rwanda Education Sector Program Implementation Grant (RESPIG), funded by a $30.8 million grant, is premised upon the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP 2018-2023) priorities and has four components:

  1. Teacher training in curriculum delivery with emphasis on English and teachers’ English proficiency and inclusive education by:
    • Providing multimedia equipment to the University of Rwanda College of Education and 16 teacher training colleges
    • Strengthening school-based mentorship program to self-learning though the online courses and its face-to-face elements
    • Supporting to the training unit and staff to develop a training framework to guide the implementation of school-based mentorship
    • Training teachers in inclusive education in targeted schools.
  2. Curriculum development and procurement of teaching and learning materials, readers, and materials for learners in pre-primary and upper primary, including for children with special educational needs by:
    • Developing, printing, and distributing teaching and learning materials and readers with a focus on STEM
    • Procuring and distributing early childhood education kits
    • Providing equipment and software required for digitalization, and digitalizing learning in primary and lower secondary education
    • Developing digital content for the competence-based curriculum
    • Providing smart-classroom equipment to targeted schools in lower secondary schools including alternative technologies to schools without connectivity
    • Inducting 50 head teachers and teachers responsible for ICT in the effective use of smart classrooms.
  3. Enhancing STEM in pre-primary, primary and lower secondary by:
    • Procuring science kits and laboratory equipment
    • Providing materials for leaners with disabilities in 20 schools
    • Building capacity of head teachers and teachers in the effective use of the science kits and how to use local resources to augment the kits in the teaching of science.
  4. School infrastructure in lower secondary through the construction of resource rooms in targeted junior secondary schools.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020 10,000,000 0 WB  
Program implementation 2020-2024 30,800,000 0 UNICEF  
2015-2018 25,200,000 25,200,000 FCDO Completion report
2011-2014 70,000,000 70,000,000 FCDO  
2007-2010 70,000,000 70,000,000 WB  
2009-2010 35,000,000 35,000,000 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2017-2018 323,570 323,570 FCDO  
Program development 2019-2020 121,776 0 FCDO  
2018 78,223 139,487 FCDO  
  Total 241,523,569 200,663,057    
Data last updated: February 16, 2021

GPE has also provided the Rwanda Education For All (REFAC) 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 Rwanda, 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 May 19, 2020