Gross primary enrolment reached 78.5% for the 2012-2013 school year, up from 49.5% a decade earlier.
Significant improvements have been made in education with gross primary enrolment reaching 78.5% between 2012 and 2013 (up from 49.5% between 2003 and 2004) and an average 70% overall access to schooling.
In addition, Djibouti is moving towards gender parity in primary school with gross enrolment of girls at 46%.
Access to Education
In 1999, when President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh was elected, he decreed to improve primary, secondary and tertiary education in Djibouti and ensure that all Djiboutians had access to an education.
Furthermore, the President has enacted new laws making it compulsory for all six to sixteen year olds in Djibouti to attend school. In support of this, he built primary and secondary schools across the whole country so that children from rural areas also had access to an education. He also incentivised Djiboutian families, many of whom were nomadic, to settle in one area and to send their children to school.
Tablets and Textbooks
The country has also made significant progress in the provision of textbooks to children in school. As recently as 2004, there was an average of one textbook for every four students in primary school; this ratio has almost been reversed, and there are now on average at least three textbooks (French, Arabic and Math) for each primary school student.
The government also provides all children starting primary school with a tablet and secondary and university students are given a laptop in order to improve IT skills and enable students to access the internet.
Education Action Plan
The government recently approved a three-year Education Action Plan and a number of initiatives are planned and underway to improve access to education services throughout the country, with the focus as much on quality as quantity.
It is working with international partners such as the Global Partnership for Education, USAID, UNICEF and the French Development Agency (AFD), to invest in school construction in order to respond to increasing student demand and to improve the quality of education, as well as financing training and materials for the effective teaching of early grade learning initiatives.
Furthermore, the World Bank is supporting an initiative to improve the efficiency with which the education system is run through investments to improve the management, accountability and governance of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training.