In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Tajikistan received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education and Science with a National Education Preparedness Response Plan, in consultation with the local education group. The plan, launched in mid-April 2020, includes a detailed budget for additional education interventions, and was the basis for a EUR 9 million contribution from the European Union.
A joint rapid education needs assessment monitors the short- and long-term impact on this and next school years along with budgetary implications for the sector.
School-based communication and safety campaigns have been launched, including rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure.
The grant also supported the development of TV lessons and a distance learning platform, ensuring accessibility online and offline. The ministry was modernized with new equipment for distance learning.
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):
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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The GPE Multiplier grant of US$10 million aims at improving the learning environment and the effectiveness of education services. The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) provides US$30 million in co-financing, while the government’s contribution is US$6 million. In addition, UNICEF will provide in-kind support in the amount of US$750,000.
The program supported by this funding has three objectives:
- Enhance access to quality education facilities in selected districts.
- Improve the efficacy of the competency-based education by reducing the gap between declared and implemented curriculum for math and languages in grades 5-9, supporting reform in assessment practices and stock-taking of various activities for effective implementation of competency-based education.
- Strengthen the education management information system and its piloting in the project area to support education sector policy, planning and evidence-based resource allocation.
The program directly contributes to the National Strategy for Education Development (NSED) 2012-2020 and will also be reflected in the NSED 2021-2030.
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Disbursements||Grant agent|
|Multiplier||2020||10,000,000||0||Islamic Development Bank|
|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|
|Sector plan development||2017-2020||304,000||133,400||UNICEF|
|Program development||2019||188,214||78,166||Islamic Development Bank|
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.