Education in Benin affected by geographic and social disparities
Benin displays significant geographic and social disparities in the provision and quality of primary education services. Two key issues are high absenteeism of teachers and 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 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 be 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 satisfy the job market needs, 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 be efficient. This includes coordinating an efficient system to monitor learning, respecting deadlines and budgets, being accountable to 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.
Benin is preparing a new sector plan for 2017-2025, and GPE is supporting the analysis of the sector and development of the new plan through aan education sector plan development grant whose grant is the Swiss Cooperation.