Education offers children a ladder out of poverty and a path to a promising future. As a result of significant investments since 2012, the number of children enrolled in primary school has kept pace with population growth, increasing by 35 per cent, to more than 2,7 million with the gross primary enrolment rate remaining constant at 71 per cent (66 per cent for girls).
Nonetheless, education levels remain exceptionally low. The preschool enrolment rate is just 7 per cent.
Over 50 per cent of children aged 7-16 are not in school. Geographic gaps in school coverage and poor retention rates remain unaddressed, quality has worsened, and inequities have deepened, with the poorest and rural children least likely to attend school.
Fewer than 60 per cent of primary school students enter secondary school, and although enrolment in lower secondary has nearly doubled, only 20 per cent of students complete the cycle (boys: 23.7 per cent; girls: 17 per cent).
Gender parity in secondary school remains a distant objective (0.7). Safety concerns, the distance to school and child marriage prevent parents from enrolling their children. Severe inefficiencies persist despite the sector benefiting from 20 per cent of the state budget and significant donor support.
Fewer than 8 per cent of children at the end of primary school have acquired acceptable literacy and numeracy skills. Just one third of contractual teachers demonstrated acceptable competency levels in 2017.