Education in Benin
Benin experiences strong geographic and social disparities in the provision and quality of primary education services. Two key issues are a high absenteeism of teachers and a lack of capacity to manage the education system overall.
The third phase of the Benin’s Education Sector Plan covers the years 2013 to 2016 and has the following priorities:
- Preschool: improve access to preschool programs by creating public preschools, supporting private preschools, and ensuring quality preschool education.
- Primary school: the program focuses on the 25 communes where the enrollment rate is lowest. It aims to increase access and retention, improve quality and equity, and ensure that girls and children with special needs are included. It also aims to improve the system management.
- Secondary school: increase access, improve equity and quality, improve girls’ access to secondary education, and strengthen management.
- Technical and vocational training and education: retraining and youth insertion: increase availability of services, ensure training and skills are linked to the job market, improve quality and equity, and strengthen sector management.
- Higher education and scientific research: strengthen sector management, improve quality and equity, and promote scientific and technological research as sustainable development tools.
- Literacy and promotion of national languages: ensure that illiterate youth above 15 have equitable access to literacy programs; promote national languages, and strengthen sector management.
- Education sector management: implement coherent strategies to ensure that management and coordination of the sector is efficient. This includes coordinating an efficient system to monitor learning, respecting deadlines and budgets, being accountable to the communities, and coordinating development partners.
According to UIS, 22% of total government spending went to education in 2013, representing 5% of GDP. In 2014, during the GPE Replenishment conference, the government of Benin committed to maintaining education spending at 27% (50% of which for primary education) between 2014 and 2018. It also committed to producing reliable data on basic education and to report to UIS every year by the end of July.
UNICEF is the coordinating agency of the education sector in Benin.
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.
Primary Gross Enrollment Rate (%)
Primary Completion Rate (%)
Lower Secondary Completion Rate (%)
Out-of-school Children Rate (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as Share of GDP (%)
Public Expenditure on Education as a Share of Public Expenditure (%)
Public Expenditure on Primary as a Share of Total Education Expenditure (%)
Teachers Trained (%)
GPE in Benin
The current US$42.3 million grant to Benin goes into a basket fund called the Common Fund Budget (Fonds Commun Budgétaire - FCB) to which AFD (France) also contributes.
In 2015 the project was restructured to reflect an extension of the project’s closing date by eleven months, revise the results framework, and reallocate funds. The GPE-supported program has two main objectives: improving access and equity, and quality of classroom instruction at the basic level, with particular emphasis on disadvantaged districts.
These objectives are broken down into three components:
- Improving the quality of basic education, with a focus on the most deprived primary school districts through in-service and pre-service teacher training, and subsidies to local schools for pedagogical materials acquisitions
- Improving access and equity through school construction, school feeding programs and incentives for girls’ education in “deprived districts”
- Improving the management and governance of the education system through support to Education Management Information Systems (EMIS), student learning assessments, school inspection and pedagogical management, and capacity building, project management and studies.
The GPE grant also supports the improvement of the availability of reliable data and the organization of a national assessment of learning outcomes in 2014/15.
As of June 2016, the program supported by the pooled fund has achieved the following results:
- The primary completion rate in targeted districts has gone up to 52% as compared to 40% at the start of the project. For girls this rate increased from 34% to 49%.
- 222 classrooms were built in primary and lower secondary schools in deprived districts.
- 178,942 students are receiving at last one meal per day at school in disadvantaged districts.
- 10,500 primary level teachers and 381 officers of the ministries were trained.
- 176,429 girls in grades 1 and 2 in deprived districts have received a school package.