Located in Central Africa, the Republic of Rwanda is a landlocked country, sharing borders with Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Uganda. Since the genocidal massacre that claimed the lives of approximately 800,000 people in 1994, Rwanda has striven to reconstruct and rebuild. The elaboration of Vision 2020 has set Rwanda’s sights on becoming a modern, strong and united middle-income country oriented around a knowledge-based economy and the government has sought to position itself as an investment beacon in the region by building a solid base of human capital. However, the agricultural sector is still a key driver of the economy, as it accounts for roughly one-third of GDP and 80 per cent of the population is employed therein. The country’s principal exports consist of coffee, tea, sorghum, livestock, beans, potatoes and tobacco. Notably, the poverty rate across Rwanda declined 12 per cent from 2006 and 2012.

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

Barriers to Primary Education

  • Poverty
  • Lack of schools & sanitation facilities
  • Refugee status

Interventions to Barriers

  • Construction/rehabilitation of classrooms
  • Provision of learning materials  
  • Teacher training

As part of the country’s reconstruction and development efforts, the Government of Rwanda has acknowledged the shortcomings and inadequacies of past education systems. Moreover, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has prioritised the realisation of universal primary education as a means to engender economic growth and poverty reduction. To that end, between 1996 and 2013, the government augmented its percentage of GDP invested into education from 3.2 per cent to 5 per cent, which spurred a rapid expansion of basic education. At the moment, net enrolments at the primary level have reached 96.9 per cent (a considerable 450 per cent increase from 2000). 

In spite of the progress made and political will on the part of the government, Rwanda’s education sector still harbours challenges. In particular, questions with regard to quality persist. For instance, the education system still requires quality inputs in terms of trained teachers and learning materials, as the liberalisation of the sector has outpaced the government’s capacity to provide the corresponding resources. Furthermore, the government has recognised that orphans, poor children, children with disabilities and other vulnerable children require additional support, as their dropout/retention rate is problematic.

In an attempt to reach some of the country’s most marginalised OOSC, EAC and UNHCR have partnered to increase access to quality primary education. Through the Enabling, Encouraging and Excelling project, UNHCR will focus on the country’s refugee communities. Specific project interventions include: constructing/rehabilitating classrooms and latrines; conducting trainings on data management; building sports recreation facilities; and providing school uniforms and teaching materials.

Geographic Location: Central  Africa

Languages: Kinyarwanda (official), French (official), English (official), Swahili 

Year added: 


Educate A Child Partnership

Educate A Child Partnership

Successfully Completed Project

Educate A Child (EAC) has partnered with UNHCR to bring quality primary education to refugee children in 12 priority countries.
Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

Enabling, Encouraging & Excelling

Successfully Completed Project

As the global refugee protection agency, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is responsible for ensuring that refugee children have access to quality education in their countries of asylum. There are over 2.7 million refugee children out of school in 12 targeted project countries.
OOSC under UNHCR’s Mandate are Provided Access to Quality Equitable Primary Education

OOSC under UNHCR’s Mandate are Provided Access to Quality Equitable Primary Education

Since its inception in 2012, EAC and UNHCR have been working together in countries across the globe to increase access to quality primary education for some of the most disadvantaged out of school children. At the moment, the joint Mandate Project is active in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East seeking to enrol an additional 364,857 children.



EAC partnership with UNHCR will ensure quality education for over 448,000 refugee children. UNHCR and EAC’s shared commitment to children in the most extreme circumstances help to ensure that all children in crisis situations have the opportunity to gain from the benefits of basic education.