The Senegalese education system is structured in 4 cycles (preschool, elementary, medium, secondary). According to Law Nº 91-22 (1991), schooling is compulsory for all children aged 6 to 16 years (elementary, medium and junior secondary). Compulsory education is provided free of charge in public schools (Art. 3bis), but there is no detail on what the government covers.
Total education expenditure was US $ 1047 million in 2018, corresponding to 21.53% of total government expenditure. The school-aged population is 5.1 million (2.6 million in primary-level age and 2.5 million in secondary-level age), corresponding to 32.4% of the total population. Households spend 1.7% on education. Regarding private education, there are private catholic, secular and qur’aanic schools. Government-funded private schools include franco-arab schools and community schools. Student enrollment in private schools corresponds to 18.7% in primary education, 14.6% in junior secondary and 25.4% in senior secondary education. The total funding for private education in 2017 was XOF 1.2 billion, corresponding to US $ 2.18 million, and 0.21% of total education expenditure.
Public schools in Senegal have different funding sources, including three government sources:
1) Schools project grants, where schools receive XOF 500 000 to 2 million (US $ 907 to US $ 3630) as subsidies (not calculated per student or per classroom) to improve the quality of education. Selected schools received grants totaling of XOF 1.5 million (approximately US $ 3190) in 2016
2) Support of local governments (infrastructure, textbooks, and others)
3) The Decentralization Endowment Fund, which is supplied by a 3.5 % a 3.5% levy on Value Added Tax (VAT) according to Article 59 of Law No. 96-07 (1996) on the transfer of powers to regions, municipalities and rural communities. The total fund in 2015 was XOF 20.41 billion (corresponding to US $ 37 million, and 3.5% of total education expenditure), and departments received a share of between XOF 115 million and 160 million, corresponding to US $ 210-290 thousand.
The Education Sector Plan (ESP) for 2018-2030 has three objectives:
- Raise performance in terms of learning outcomes at all levels.
- Boost, at all levels, coverage, diversification and integration of the education/training system.
- Establish transparent and efficient sector governance, oriented towards results.
The expected results corresponding to objective 2 include developing sustainable strategies at all levels allowing to 1) increase access and retention in education and training; 2) achieve equal opportunities, access and training, especially between girls and boys; 3) target the excluded to reduce the disparities in access and include people living with disabilities and in disadvantaged conditions/areas; 4) ensure an offer better suited to the diversity of demand and employability.
Senegal has a School meals program conducted by the Unit for the Fight Against Malnutrition. US $ 5,7 million (corresponding to 0.54% of education expenditure) was spent on all its programs in 2015. By 2014, there were 4785 school canteens, reaching 53% of primary schools, and 16% of junior secondary schools.
During 2012-2018, the Senegalese government spent XOF 160 billion (US $ 29 million, 2.8% of total education expenditure) on building school infrastructure. The target is 1850 classrooms and reaching 81000 under-privileged children (1.6% of the school-aged population).
The National Action Plan for Girls’ Education has established different measures to guarantee girls’ education, including awareness-raising activities and building and up-scaling of schools. The total budget for the access component of the Plan for 2008-2011 was XOF 791 million (US $ 1.44 million, or US $360 thousand per year, 0.04% of the education expenditure).
The implementation of the ESP was funded through a US$ 42.6 million GPE grant (2019-2023), corresponding to 4.1% of total education expenditure. Component 2 on strengthening equity in access has two sub-components: 1) A list of 500Daaras (Koranic Schools) will receive support for vulnerable learners, and food support; 2) engaging 1.5 million children aged 6-16 who are out-of-school children (about 29% of school-aged population) and bringing 15,000 children back into the system.
The National Office of Scholarships has distributed in 2013-2017 XOF 43.8 billion (US $ 79 million, US $15.8 million per year, or 1.5% of total education expenditure) to 117 477 students. There are a number of scholarships included, including social scholarships and mobility grants. Criteria for eligibility include students with disabilities or disabling illnesses, orphaned and vulnerable students and students from poor families. Grants cover annual equipment costs, social security costs and housing assistance.
In 2014, the government released the PNBSF to fight against vulnerability and social exclusion, promote access to social transfers, and strengthen the country’s educational, productive and technical capacities. The Government received a US $ 40.5 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) to establish this national social for the years 2014-2024. The project supported the design of the National Unique Registry, which combines geographical targeting with a community-driven process to identify the poorest households. The goal was to provide 250,000 vulnerable families with Family Security Bursaries of XOF 100,000 / year (US $ 182). By 2020, the Senegal Safety Net project has registered 442,000 households (about 30% of the population), and the PNBSF has reached its new final target of 300,000 beneficiary households (about 20% of the population). Of the US $40.5 million, US $ 25.7 million is spent on transfers to the poorest households that are beneficiaries of the PNBSF. In addition, US $ 4.9 million is dedicated to information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns that promote investments in education, among other aspects. The project provides the PNBSF with the means to ensure payments to beneficiaries and verify children’s school attendance.