Benin, situated in West Africa and sharing borders with four other African countries and the Atlantic Ocean, occupies a land mass of approximately 113,000 square kilometres. Modern-day Benin was formerly the site of Dahomey, a prominent regional kingdom of its time. The French began making incursions along the kingdom’s coastal areas in the latter half of the 19th century, eventually conquering it by 1894. In 1958, the country became a self-governing member of the French Community and in 1960 it acceded to full independence. Today, Benin’s economy relies heavily on subsistence agriculture, cotton production and regional trade.

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

Main Barriers to Education

  • Poverty
  • Lack of Schools & Sanitation Facilities
  • Lack of Inclusive Educational  Settings
  • Discrimination

Interventions to barriers

  • Teacher Training
  • MOE Capacity Building
  • Policy Advocacy
  • Community Engagement

In response to the challenges facing primary education in the country, the Government of Benin elaborated the Plan Décennal de Développement du Secteur de l’Education Actualisé for 2013-2015. Pertaining to primary education, the reform plan specifically prioritises communes where enrolment rates are the lowest; increasing access, retention, quality and equity, particularly for girls and children with disabilities; and enhancing the management capacity of the education system overall.

Although the government has made efforts to realise universal primary education, the country’s education sector still faces challenges with regard to quality and retention. For instance, the teacher to student ratio at the primary level has hovered around 1:45 since 2008. Furthermore, while the percentage of trained primary-school teachers in Benin has increased steadily since 2009, as of 2014 only 68 per cent has been trained for service. Also, notwithstanding the gradual and consistent rise in primary-gross enrolment rates starting in 2008, the rate of primary completion since 2014 has begun to level off at an average of about 76 per cent.

In support of some of the country’s most marginalised OOSC, EAC has partnered with Handicap International (HI) to increase access to quality primary education. This partner project seeks to cultivate inclusive education settings that respond to the needs of all children, particularly those with disabilities, by establishing multi-sector care and bridge mechanisms within mainstream schools. In addition, HI will train relevant MOE staff on the design/implementation of inclusive education for systemic impact.

Geographic Location: West Africa

Languages: French (official), Bariba, Dendi, Fon, Ge and Yoruba

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Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

Towards a Universal Access for Vulnerable Girls and Boys to a Quality Primary Education

Successfully Completed Project

In developing countries, disability tends to be linked with poverty and hinders access to education. It is estimated that 90 per cent of children with disabilities (CwDs) are not schooled. According to UNICEF reporting being identified as disabled has a significant influence on the likelihood of education exclusion in West and Central Africa.


Humanity & Inclusion

In partnership with EAC, Humanity & Inclusion, formerly known as Handicap International, aims to reach more than 28,000 out of school children (OOSC) of primary age with disabilities across ten sub-Saharan African countries.