Exacerbated by a history of political violence, the people of the Comoros are among the poorest in Africa and remain heavily dependent on foreign aid. In this country, EAC works with UNICEF to increase access to primary education for hard-to-reach children and marginalized groups, including girls who have been left out by previous programs.

source(s): UNESCO EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/14

Main Barriers to Education

  • Conflict
  • Instability
  • Poverty
  • Violence
  • Child labor 

The Union of the Comoros is a small archipelago with an estimated population of 734,900, located in Southern Africa at the northern mouth of the Mozambique Channel, about two-thirds of the way between northern Madagascar and northern Mozambique. French is the language of the government administration of Comoros.  

Comoros’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture; around 80% of the total population is engaged in this sector.  Agriculture contributes about 40% to the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). Many people engage in hunting, forestry and fishing to earn their living. The other industries supporting the economy in Comoros are perfume distillation, tourism and fishing.   According to the BBC, “Natural resources are in short supply and the islands' chief exports - vanilla, cloves and perfume essence - are prone to price fluctuations. Money sent home by Comorans living abroad is an important source of income.”  The poor economic condition of this country means that it remains dependent on foreign assistance.

Education in Comoros is improving due to the introduction of government initiatives aimed at providing improved access to education, and in support of this, it is compulsory  for children in the age group of 6 to 16 years to attend school. Despite the government’s efforts, a large section of the children receive very little or no education at all. It has been estimated that around only 50% of the population in Comoros can read and write.  

There are two kinds of schools in Comoros. One is the traditional Islamic school system where the Quran is an important part of the education. The other is the state run school system.


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Formal Education For Out of School Children in Comoros

Several political and economic crises in Comoros since its independence in 1975 have contributed to instability and poor living conditions for the 745,000 inhabitants of its four islands. A result of the instability is a marked increase in the number of out of school children in recent years. EAC and UNICEF have partnered to address the issue of out of school children in Comoros through the Formal Education for Out of School Children in Comoros project.



EAC and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) are partnering in Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Yemen to bring quality basic education to over 3.3 million children.