Teaching and Learning

GPE helps partner countries close the learning gap and supports governments to invest in quality teaching and effective learning.

Significant gains have been made since 2000 in access to primary education globally, but how much children learn in school remains a major challenge. An estimated 274 million primary school children worldwide are not learning the basic foundational skills necessary to lead productive and healthy lives.

Teachers are central to the learning process and play a critical role in improving learning outcomes. Beyond any other school-based factor, teacher effectiveness has been found to be the most important predictor of student learning.

GPE has placed learning at the center of its strategic plan for 2016 – 2020 and is implementing programs and strategies to support improved teaching and learning. GPE is monitoring the partnership’s progress via 4 indicators in its results framework that measure the improvement of learning outcomes, the quality of learning assessment systems, and the availability and distribution of trained teachers.


According to new data released today by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 617 million children and adolescents worldwide are not reaching minimum proficiency levels in reading and...
As part of a joint endeavor with GPE, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics has launched two new surveys to gather information on the financing of large-scale learning assessments in countries and...
On International Literacy day, we think about the millions of children and adults around the world who haven't been able to learn to read and write. Literacy is key to make our world more...
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is committed to improved and more equitable student outcomes, and has framed this as goal 1 of its strategic plan for 2016–2020.

The challenge

  • Approximately 1 in 3 primary school-age children globally are not learning the basics in reading and mathematics.
  • Low- and middle-income countries spend 2% of their GDP each year on education costs that do not lead to learning.
  • The world needs to recruit 69 million primary and secondary teachers by 2030 to achieve SDG 4.


GPE’s response

While a modern hangar is being constructed, children attend the catch-up classes in the old classroom. Credit: UNICEF CAR/2015/KIM

Goal 1 of the GPE 2020 Strategic Plan aims to provide: “Improved and more equitable student learning outcomes through quality teaching and learning.”

To strengthen the teaching profession and improve learning outcomes, GPE:

Strengthens sector planning

Through education sector plan development grants (ESPDGs), GPE provides governments with technical and financial support to conduct a sector analysis and develop the plan through a participatory and inclusive approach. Together with partners, GPE developed the Methodological Guidelines on Education Sector Analysis to strengthen government knowledge for evidence-based planning and to encourage ownership and use of results.

Incentivizes gains in learning

Through a results-based funding model, GPE encourages partner countries to review their policies and strategies and agree on a results framework for learning outcomes. To receive the first 70% of GPE grants, a partner country must either have a system in place to monitor learning outcomes or a costed plan to develop one. Disbursement of the remaining 30% is linked to demonstrated progress toward sector results, including gains in learning.

Measures learning outcomes

  • Through the GRA program, GPE has financed initiatives to catalog learning assessment data and build national capacity to strengthen learning assessment systems.
  • The Assessment for Learning initiative(A4L) builds capacity to measure and improve learning. The first phase of the initiative provides technical and financial assistance to support sector planning and analysis, capacity building and knowledge exchange at the regional level, and promote holistic measurements of learning.
  • The GPE funding model, implementation grants, and the A4L initiative work together across the policy process to strengthen learning assessment systems.

Supports teachers

  • GPE tracks progress on the ratio of students to trained teachers in partner countries as well as the equitable distribution of teachers across the education system.
  • GPE supports teacher training and development through its grants.
  • GPE promotes the participation of teacher organizations in all stages of the policy process, from the sector plan development to its implementation, through their involvement in the local education group.

Promotes improved instruction

Through its implementation grants, GPE supports its county partners to increase the supply and use of quality learning materials, increase instructional time and promote learning in the early grades.


  • GPE is the largest funder of education sector planning and analysis in developing countries, providing US$8.9 million in 2016 alone.
  • 93% of active GPE grants invested in teacher development in 2016, 76% in learning materials, 67% in learning assessment systems, and 52% in teacher management.
  • 238,000 teachers received training thanks to GPE support in 2016, compared to around 98,000 in 2014.
  • GPE has contributed to the distribution of more than 1.6 billion textbooks in partner countries.