Education in Tajikistan

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan (MoES) in partnership with development partners, including support from the series of Fast Track Initiative (FTI)/Global Partnership for Education (GPE) grants, has introduced key reforms in education in recent years, guided by the National Strategy on Education Development 2020 and Education Action Plans 2012-2014 and 2015 – 2017.

The role of education towards development of the country’s human capital has been strengthened with the National Development Strategy 2030 and the Medium Term National Development Program 2020. In addition, the Republic of Tajikistan has committed to work towards achieving the targets set by the SGDs, with the focus on SGD 4 in ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The education legislative and policy frameworks are being revised and alignment with SDGs is being taken into considerations by the Government as well as development partners active in the education sector.

While the primary schools (1-4 grades) in Tajikistan are reaching near universal coverage, the gross enrollment ratio in upper secondary education drops sharply. The transition rate from basic to secondary education for male and female students has been low in previous years, but continues to steadily increase. The major area of concern remains the low coverage of early childhood education services for young children of Tajikistan, only 12.5% according to EMIS data. Tajikistan has made good progress in achieving high enrollment and completion rates in the primary cycle and reaching gender parity, but it still faces many challenges that contribute to poor inadequate performance in the education system.

In order to address the overall issue of quality education, the curriculum is moving from being knowledge-based towards being competency-based. With support from GPE-4, UNICEF and USAID the Ministry of Education and Science started the introduction of a new competency-based curriculum in primary grades from September 2016. While all 33,000 primary grade teachers have been trained, there is still substantial work to be done to relation to implementation and further support to teachers in strengthening pedagogical approaches.

The National Strategy for Education Development (NSED) outlines the following priorities (currently under revision):

  1. Changing the structure of education by:
    • Revising the education content to move from a knowledge-based to a competency-based education model.
    • Developing and implementing new programs to encourage early childhood development.
    • Modernizing the content of supplementary, special needs, basic, secondary, higher and vocational education.
  2. Implementing a structural adjustment of the education system and business mechanisms by:
    • Introducing early childhood education programs.
    • Establishing a new remuneration system in education.
    • Establishing a system allowing students to select which supplementary classes they would like to take.
    • Developing a systematic and diagnostic framework for supplementary education institutions.
    • Introducing inclusive education practices.
    • Establishing a national education quality monitoring system for all levels.
    • Creating a special system to educate children with disabilities.
  3. Ensuring equal access to quality education by:
    • Providing access for children with special needs.
    • Ensuring that minorities receive an education in their native language.
    • Creating the necessary conditions and incentives for girls to continue studying after they have completed the compulsory education.
    • Establishing a support system for students who live in rural areas and participate in vocational education programs.
    • Introducing administrative and legal reforms for the provision of early childhood education services.

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Latest grant

Development objective: Contribute to improving the learning conditions in preschool and general education
Allocation: US$16,200,000
Years: 2013-2017
Grant agent: World Bank
Disbursements: US$16,200,000

The grant of US$16.2 million allocated to Tajikistan closed in September 2017. It aimed to increase access and improve the learning conditions in early childhood and general education.

The grant supported the GPE program (called GPE-4) which was fully aligned with the education strategy and contributed to achieving the following goals:

  • Increase coverage and quality of early childhood education.
  • Modernize general education content by increasing its relevance and moving from a knowledge to a competency-based model.
  • Improve teachers' effectiveness.
  • Improve the physical infrastructure of existing schools and build new schools to accommodate population growth.
  • Strengthen management capacities in the education system and the system's efficiency.

GPE-4 had the following four components:

  1. Increase access to affordable and quality early childhood education programs by:
    • Carrying out an analysis of the early childhood education sector including the different kinds of institutions operating and the services they provide.
    • Reinforcing or opening state kindergartens and early learning centers.
    • Building the capacity of teachers to deliver the early childhood education curriculum effectively by providing them with the appropriate training and giving them a package of essential teaching-learning materials.
  2. Upgrade general education content by:
    • Upgrading primary education content and practices, which involves training teachers on how to deliver the revised standards and content and on learning techniques and formative assessments. These teachers will also receive a package of essential teaching-learning materials for primary grades.
    • Upgrading secondary education content and practices, which involves financing piloting activities of the education program in one subject of secondary education including training participating teachers, periodic seminars with participants, and collecting and consolidating findings.
  3. Improving learning environments by:
    • Constructing or rehabilitating schools
    • Distributing furniture to schools. Each beneficiary school will receive a full set of furniture, including desks and chairs for students and teacher, blackboards, shelving, and furniture for the Director‘s office, teacher‘s room, and the library.
  4. Strengthen the capacities at the central and local levels to manage the education system by:
    • Providing training, technical assistance and organizing study tours to strengthen the capacities of the ministry of Education staff in the areas of financial and contracts management; the use of EMIS data for decision-making and strategic planning; the development of a monitoring and evaluation system for the sector plan.
    • Extending the EMIS to three new sectors: early childhood education, vocational education and training and higher education.

The local education group in Tajikistan is composed of partners that are active in the education sector. The coordinating agency is UNICEF and the grant agent for the GPE grant was the World Bank.

Source: World Bank Project Appraisal Document. October 2012


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2013-2017 16,200,000 16,200,000 World Bank Completion report
2010-2013 13,500,000 13,500,000 World Bank Completion report
2006-2010 18,250,293 18,250,293 World Bank  
Multiplier - 10,000,000 0 Islamic Development Bank  
Sector plan development 2017-2020 304,000 133,400 UNICEF  
2017-2019 196,000 196,000 World Bank  
2013-2014 247,797 247,797 UNICEF  
Program development 2019 188,214 78,166 Islamic Development Bank  
2013-2014 123,647 123,647 World Bank  
  Total 59,009,951 48,729,303    
Data last updated: April 03, 2020

GPE has also provided the Alliance of CSOs for Education in Tajikistan 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 Tajikistan, 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 June 11, 2019