Education in Senegal

Senegal considers its human capital to be the driving force in its emergence trajectory (focus 2 of the Emerging Senegal Plan) for the diversification of its economy and development of social harmony and political stability in order to achieve “an emerging Senegal by 2035 with a civic-minded society governed by the rule of law”.

The education sector policy is set out in the Education and Training Quality, Equity and Transparency Improvement Program (PAQUET-EF) established for the period 2013-2025 and revised to be aligned with the international agenda (SDG 4, Strategy 2030).

The Senegalese education sector is divided into four levels, of which two are mandatory:

  • pre-primary: at least 1 year between the ages of 5 and 6
  • elementary: 6 years between the ages of 6 and 11
  • lower secondary: 4 years between the ages of 12 and 15
  • upper secondary: 3 years between the ages of 16 and 18.

From 2000 to 2016, access to technical and vocational and education and training (TVET) improved, as did the pursuit of higher education.

The gross enrollment ratio (GER) in higher education remains low—7% in 2017—which prevents Senegal from training sufficient professionals or senior technicians (“short degrees”) needed by the various sectors to increase productivity, attractiveness and innovation capacity.

The PAQUET-EF focuses on three objectives:

  • Objective 1: substantially improve learning outcomes at all levels;
  • Objective 2: promote coverage, diversification and integration of the education and training system at all levels;
  • Objective 3: introduce results-based transparent and effective sector governance.

The general approach of the sector plan is to focus on the initial objectives of quality, equity and good governance while strengthening the focus on equity of access by reducing vulnerabilities, developing the pre-primary level and consolidating the basic cycle (basic education curriculum for 10 years + 1 year of pre-primary school). The plan also calls for incorporating all forms of teaching (including non-formal teaching) and creating transfer points, particularly through the development of vocational counselling mechanisms to guide students toward the vocational and technical streams.

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Latest grant

Development objective: sustainably improve the performance of the Senegalese education system in terms of quality, equity and efficiency by consolidating the control and regulation capabilities of the system through working in partnership
Allocation: US$42,600,008
Years: 2019-2023
Grant agent: Agence Francaise de Developpement
Disbursements: US$0

The new grant was approved in May 2019 for 37.2 million euros (equivalent to US$42.6 million), including 8.7 million euros from the GPE Multiplier (equivalent to US$10 million). The grant supports the education development support project (PADES, from the French name).

The PADES is primarily a catalytic mechanism to promote and support reforms in the management of the education sector, in direct conjunction with the sector policy, major government reforms and the national management systems.

The PADES sector budget support (85% of the grant) with disbursement conditions linked to leverage effects and expected outcomes, is accompanied by project financing (15% of the grant) to target actions to stimulate changes and reforms.

The incentive and leverage objectives of the PADES relate to:

  • Improved accountability and transparency in the monitoring of the execution of public spending for the implementation of the PAQUET, oversight of the sector and the budgetary reforms under way.
  • An improvement in the quality of learning, targeting the routine assessment of learning in the early years of primary school, connected with an improvement in community-based services for pupils.
  • A reduction in vulnerabilities and disparities in the elementary education system, with the rollout of vulnerability mapping, its effective use for local remediation actions, and outcomes in terms of the attention to children’s fundamental right to identity.
  • Improvement in the efficiency of public spending, with a reduction in the dropout rate at the elementary level and improved performance in the execution of the investment program.
  • Protection of domestic financing for education via the Ministry of Education, by means of an incentive to not cut the appropriations approved in the Initial Budget Law.

These sector budget support objectives are accompanied by project support, consisting of three components:

  1. Change management
  2. Support for renewed oversight and actor initiatives
  3. Program oversight


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation and multiplier 2019-2023 42,600,008 * 0 Agence Francaise de Developpement  
Program implementation 2013-2018 45,747,265 46,322,809 World Bank Progress report
2009-2014 81,500,000 79,674,938 World Bank Completion report
Sector plan development 2016-2018 250,000 250,000 World Bank  
Program development 2018-2019 177,318 200,000 Agence Francaise de Developpement  
2013 191,148 191,148 World Bank  
  Total 170,465,739 126,638,895    
Data last updated: April 03, 2020

GPE has also provided the Coordination of NGOs and Trade Unions for the Defense of a Quality Public Education (COSYDEP) 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 Senegal, 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.

Last updated February 06, 2020