Being able to go to school is now a reality for many more children in Niger

UNICEF Niger/Dicko


Being able to go to school is now a reality for many more children in Niger than it was close to 20 years ago.

Today, more than three-quarters of children are enrolled in primary education compared to just over a third in 2001. However, secondary education lags behind, with only 3 in 10 enrolled.

In addition, many children drop out before completing their education. Children who are not in school are more likely to join the ranks of the unemployed and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.    

In fact, school exclusion remains widespread: 38 per cent of primary school-aged children and 70 per cent of lower secondary school-aged adolescents are out of school.

Girls and poor children also face barriers to education, with children from the poorest homes 1.6 times more likely to never attend school than the children from the richest households.

And even if children do remain in school, they struggle to learn. In 2014, when children were assessed, over 93 per cent of pupils in primary grades 2 and 5 were found to not be sufficiently competent in reading and mathematics.


“When teachers have a high standard, it is quite normal that students also excel” Bala, school teacher in Diffa 



Niger has some of the world’s most formidable education challenges but solutions exist to overcome them.

First and foremost, UNICEF and its partners work with the Government of Niger to strengthen leadership and management of the education system, with a focus on improving the quality of education.

To ensure that all children, especially girls, children with disabilities and other excluded groups, have access to quality education, UNICEF supports pre-primary, primary, lower secondary and non-formal education centres to offer inclusive and gender-sensitive education. In areas affected by crisis, UNICEF works with schools and communities to ensure continuity of education.

At the community level, families and communities are mobilized to create and sustain demand for their children’s education.



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