Every child should have a textbook

Photo of the week

A 4th grader reading her biology textbook in Mamakoffikro, Ouragahio's IEP (Primary School Inspectorate), Gagnoa District, Côte d’Ivoire. Credit: GPE/Carine Durand

Imagine being in school and having to rely only on what your teacher says or writes on the blackboard to grasp a concept. Without a textbook to refer to, teachers have a harder time teaching, and students have a harder time learning. In fact, access to learning materials is cited as a key strategy to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goal for Education.

According to the latest policy paper by the GEM Report, textbooks are central to improving learning in low-income countries, especially in schools with large class sizes and a high proportion of untrained teachers.

However, in many countries students at all levels either lack textbooks or must share them with their classmates. In Cameroon for example, as of 2012, there was only 1 reading textbook for 12 students and only 1 mathematics textbook for 14 students in grade 2. In addition, if governments do not invest in learning materials and textbooks the burden falls on parents, further disadvantaging poorer students.

From Rwanda to Papua New Guinea, the Global Partnership supports partner countries’ efforts to ensure that children and teachers have access to quality teaching and learning materials. 



The Global Partnership for Education Secretariat is headquartered in Washington DC and has approximately 100 staff. The Secretariat provides administrative and operational support to all its partners including 65 developing...

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