Education

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

Education
UNICEF Niger/Dicko

Challenges

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 nearly 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 sufficient literacy and numeracy skills. Just one third of contractual teachers demonstrated acceptable competency levels in 2017.

Solutions

We support the Government to improve access to quality education for all children, particularly girls, the most vulnerable, and those living in crisis situations, including in the second decade of life.

Interventions to improve the quality of education are focused on strengthened monitoring of student learning and improving the pedagogical and leadership capacities of principals and teachers to improve teaching practices.

Behavioural and social change interventions including community mobilization aim to generate demand for early childhood, girls’ education and alternative education for out-of-school children and skills training for youth.

Innovative approaches are modelled and documented for evidence generation and advocacy for scale-up.

We support the strengthening of ministerial capacities, especially at decentralized levels, to better collect and utilize data for planning and monitoring and to operationalize strategies on girls’ education and education quality improvement.

At national level, we advocate for greater efficiency and accountability of the government budget allocated to education and contribute to strengthening capacities to implement the revised education sector plan at central and decentralized levels.

We leverage partnerships with key donors for quality and inclusive education through the Education Common Fund.

Resources

Available publications, surveys, reports will be added in this section