The education cycle consists of nine years of compulsory primary education (from 6 to 14 years old), followed by three years of study at secondary level (from 15 to 17). The government covers teachers, materials and infrastructure.
Public spending on education, total (% of GDP) in Yemen was reported at 5.2% in 2008. The share of the public budget dedicated to education has remained high during the past decade, averaging between 14 and 20%. Total school-aged population is 8.3 million (4.4 million in primary and 3.9 million in secondary), out of 28.5 million inhabitants. Private education sector covers 2% of basic and secondary enrollment. Around 46% of households in 2015 lost their main source of income due to conflict. For Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the government is making an effort to finance part of the fees of private schools to broaden access to ECCE services, especially for marginalized children.
Due to the conflict, collapse in public revenues resulted in a decrease in public expenditure of 36 percent between 2014 and 2016. It resulted in the public budget cuts, especially in human development related sectors (including health and education). In addition, there have been drastic salary cuts for teachers, which draw them to resign and to close schools. Since the start of the war, more than 2,500 schools are no longer operating.
Access to basic education and equity (specially for girls) are the two priorities set by the Education Sector Plan (2013-2015).
To implement Education Priority 2 of the Education Sector Plan on Closing the social and gender gap, the MoE includes two related-programs.
The program aims at increasing social demand for education, by helping poor families to enroll their children into public basic education schools and encourage them to remain until completion of the primary education cycle. The 2015 cost of the program was YR 28 million (US$ 113 000). The program target students in low enrollment regions, disasters, conflict areas and IDP camps. Activities include:
- Waiving tuition fees since 2006 for girls in primary school. The measure targeted 1 million students and costed US $ 3 million approximately at the equivalent of about US $3 per year. According to the Strategic Plan 2013-2015, this measure was expanded to both female and male students in secondary education schooling.
- Food distribution activity that covers 251,000 – 438,000 basic education students (3%-5% school-aged children). No information was found on the detailed government budget, but WFP had a US$ 3.2million budget and targeted 110 000 beneficiaries through the Emergency Operation 2017/2018.
- School materials distribution activity that covers 250,000 – 566,000 basic education students (3%-7% school-aged children).
- Medical care is also provided annually for 500 – 1000 schools located in disaster areas and IDP camps;
- Transportation service provided for 50 – 110 basic and secondary schools with significant distance from the community.
Improving school facilities and infrastructure through latrines, furniture and equipment. The 2015 cost of the program was YR 57.8 million (US $ 268.9 million)
The Yemeni government is currently developing quality basic education, improving enrollment and equity and strengthening institutional capacities through a GPE grant (2014-2020). Equity-related components are the following:
- Encourage Equitable Access, 11 million US$. This sub-component will foster girls’ enrolment through supply-side and demand-side interventions, including distribution of school kits to 35,000 pupils (0.4% of school-aged population) annually over three years in areas with high girls’ dropout rates.
- Promote Access to School for Out-of-school Children, 3.2 million US$. The sub-component supports the re-enrolling of 30 000 out-of-school children and the provision of non-formal basic education for an additional 18 000 (corresponding to 0.6% of school-aged population).
Sub-heading 3 to include There is no publicly available information on this topic.
Another aspect contemplated in program 5 is conditional cash transfers to families in rural and deprived areas, targeting 140,000 – 265,000 students in basic education schools (6-14 years old) and 40,000 – 65,000 students in secondary schools, totaling around 180,000 – 330,000 students (2.2%-4% of school-aged population). The cash transfer program is linked to the Education Sector Plan objectives from 2013 to 2015. There is no detailed budget for this program, but only the overall cost of program 5 (YR 26.9 million, or US$ 125.5 million).