Landlocked in West Africa, Niger is a Sahelian/Saharan country, sharing borders with seven other African countries. In comparison with some of its oil-rich neighbours, Niger is endowed with relatively scant natural resource wealth. Furthermore, the country is beset by an array of challenges related to desertification and the expansion of the Sahara, as well as cyclical droughts. In 2012, an armed conflict and instability from neighbouring Mali, precipitated a humanitarian crisis in and an influx of refugees into the country. As of 2014, Niger appeared at the 187th position in the United Nations Human Development Index. Demographic pressures (3.9 percent annual population growth) weigh on the country’s development prospects as well.


Barriers to Primary Education

  • Poverty
  • Gender Discrimination
  • Lack of Schools & Sanitation Facilities
  • Political Unrest

Interventions to Barriers

  • School Renovation and Construction
  • Parental Involvement & Advocacy
  • Accelerated-Learning Programmes
  • Teacher Training

The Nigerien Government has made education reform and the realisation of EFA a priority. To that end, it has adopted a whole-of-government approach by charging, among others, the ministries of education, population, female promotion and child protection, justice and public health with implementing the country’s 10-year education sector development plan. However, Niger’s challenges in this respect remain. 

In particular, the government has identified teacher training and capacity, disparities amongst girls and boys between regions and urban/rural settings, poor management of human resources and a lack of school infrastructure as formidable access barriers to primary education. Moreover, poverty plagues the country and its education sector. Niger is one of the poorest countries in the world; school fees, supplies, books and transportation strain the finances of parents who, on average, earn US$1 per day. To date, relative to its population size, Niger has one of the highest incidents of OOSC in sub-Saharan Africa and the world.

In an attempt to break down these barriers, EAC has partnered with Plan International to implement the Primary (School) Access through Speed Schools + (PASS+) Project.  Building on the success of the Speed Schools model, which had previously borne fruit in Mali, this initiative will take the model to scale in Niger. PASS+ project activities focus on community mobilisation, transition support for Speed School graduates into formal schools, capacity development of stakeholders and improved education governance. 

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Primary (School) Access through Speed Schools + (PASS+) Project

Primary (School) Access through Speed Schools + (PASS+) Project

Through the PASS+ project, Plan International, in partnership with The Strômme Foundation, will increase the quality and supply of formal primary education and non-formal accelerated-learning programmes (Speed Schools) by focusing on community mobilisation, capacity development of stakeholders and improved education governance.
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.


Agence Française de Développement (co-Financing Partner)

Agence Française de Développement (AFD) is the official development assistance coordinator for France’s bilateral aid. Its aim is to contribute to more sustainable and shared economic growth, improve living conditions in the poorest regions and countries of the world, help preserve the planet and stabilise fragile or post-conflict countries.

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.

Plan International

Plan International has been working in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1970s, helping poor children to realise their right to health, education, food security and protection. EAC has partnered with Plan to ensure that hundreds of thousands of primary-school age children access quality education in Ghana and Uganda. Furthermore, EAC and Plan have collaborated to expand access to Speed Schools in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Through separate initiatives, EAC and Plan aim to reach 331,000 out of school children (OOSC) in Ghana, Uganda, and Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.