COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$7 million

Years: 2020-2021

Grant agent: AFD

Key documents:

The US$7 million COVID-19 grant supports:

  • learning continuity through educational programs on radio
  • dissemination of information on hygiene practices to protect against COVID-19
  • creating of a toll-free call center for guidance and information to children and parents
  • school reopening through school disinfection, hand-washing stations, local production of masks and other sanitary measures
  • the return of girls to school by identifying girls at risk, training local communities of risks affecting girls and providing hygiene kits
  • remedial programs to allow students to catch up on learning.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Burkina Faso 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 Burkina Faso

Following a diagnostic work carried out in 2016, the government of Burkina Faso decided to review its education sector plan (Programme sectoriel de l’education et de la formation - PSEF) and has developed a new one for the period of 2017-2030.

The new education sector plan aims to (i) ensure a harmonious, equitable, and inclusive early childhood development, (ii) ensure a universal completion of primary cycle and establish equitable and quality basic education for all, (iii) deal with lack of trainers in technical and vocational high schools, (iv) extend technical and vocational training and education and adjust it to the needs of the economy, (v) adjust higher education to the needs of the economy, (vi) foster governance in the management of the sector for an efficient conversion of resources into results.

The country envisions a democratic, performing, and inclusive education system, which is also open to the world and develops the required competences and expertise that meet the needs of the socioeconomic development of Burkina Faso.

To achieve this vision, the PSEF is built around three strategic programs, which seek to:

  1. Increase access to education and training by investing in infrastructure, hiring teachers and trainers and by reducing inequalities in access to education and training at all levels,
  2. Improve the quality of learning by enhancing teaching and learning at school and university levels and also in technical and vocational trainings,
  3. Foster governance in the management of the education and training sector.

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Latest grant

Development objective: Reduce geographical disparities, reinforce system efficiency through better domestic financing resource allocation and ensure improved in-services teacher training and pedagogical support in the early grades to improve learning outcomes
Allocation: US$55,000,000
Years: 2018-2023
Grant agent: AFD
Utilization: US$37,728,997

In December 2017, the GPE Board approved a grant to Burkina Faso of US$33.8 million to be channeled through a pooled fund in support of the implementation of the country’s education sector plan. The grant was to be implemented over four years, from 2018 to 2022, with some of the funds dedicated to capacity development.

In 2018, the deteriorating security situation and resultant closure of schools in the Sahel region rendered some of the original indicators impossible to achieve. In August 2018, the country was awarded US$21.2 million in additional funding for the costed restructuring of the previous grant.

The additional funding is conditional on the transfer of funds linked to the variable part of the first grant and the country therefore revised some of its indicators. The variable part of the additional financing focuses on reducing geographical disparities, strengthening system efficiency through better domestic financing resource allocation and ensuring improved in-services teacher training and pedagogical support in the early grades to improve learning outcomes.

These are directly aligned with the objectives of the national sector plan’s three main program axes and their corresponding interventions. The country has now committed to achieving the following results:

  • Efficiency:
    • Increase the share of budget allocated to deconcentrated services
    • Increase the share of operating costs (non-salary recurrent) of the central administration within the national budget
    • Increase the share of in-service teacher training expenditure (including pedagogical support) implemented within the national budget
  • Equity:
    • Increase annual rate of growth in number of primary school children in 6 lagging regions (indicators differentiated for regions most heavily affected by insecurity and school closures)
    • Increase the number of annual additional functional classrooms in 4 regions affected by insecurity and school closure
  • Learning outcomes:
    • Increase the ratio of essential textbooks per student in grades 1 and 2
    • Increase the share of primary 1 and 2 teachers
      • who received at least 8 days of in-service training per year as part of the new in-service teacher training strategy
      • who received at least 4 pedagogical support visits each school year from a pedagogical supervisor trained in new approaches to strengthen pedagogical practices and 8 support visits from the school director
      • who apply in their class at least 75% of the recommendations from the new in-service teacher training received.

The grant runs through 2023 with French Development Agency (AFD) serving as grant agent, while UNICEF serves as the coordinating agency.

In September 2020, a US$11 million accelerated grant was approved, in line with Burkina Faso’s 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan. The program focuses on responding to humanitarian needs and has four components:

  1. Improve access and continuity of education for 170,000 children affected by the crisis (52% of them girls) including children with disabilities. This includes construction (mainly in regions hosting displaced children) and equipment, establishing inclusive educational spaces, school feeding and distance learning programs.
  2. Establish a safe, protective and inclusive learning environment for the 170,000 students. This focuses on teacher training on education in emergencies approaches, protection services for the most vulnerable children and water & sanitation infrastructure.
  3. Improve quality of learning for 4.5 million children (52% of whom are girls) including children with disabilities affected by the crisis through remedial teaching and emergency examinations for internally displaced children, and provision of textbooks and learning materials.
  4. Improve coordination mechanisms (national and sub-national) put in place to respond to emergency situations.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
Accelerated funding 2020-2022 11,000,000 479,251 UNICEF  
COVID-19 2021-2022 7,000,000 0 AFD  
Program implementation 2018-2023 55,000,000 37,728,997 AFD  
2013-2017 78,200,000 78,200,000 AFD Completion report
2009-2012 102,000,000 102,000,000 WB Completion report
Sector plan development 2016-2017 208,041 208,041 UNICEF  
Program development 2012-2013 44,885 44,885 AFD  
  Total 253,452,926 218,661,174    
Data last updated: December 15, 2021

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting:

  • The coalition nationale pour l’éducation pour tous du Burkina Faso for the 2019-2021 period. This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.
  • Girls Not Brides to mobilize an advocacy alliance across multiple partner countries, including Burkina Faso, for the 2021-2023/24 period.

GPE had provided the coalition nationale pour l’éducation pour tous du Burkina Faso with a grant from the CSEF 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 Burkina Faso, 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 September 09, 2021