Djibouti Fact Sheet - Middle East and North Africa Out-of-School Children Initiative [EN/AR]

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Out of school rates for primary school children have nearly halved since 2000 and there has also been a slower, but significant, decline at the lower secondary level. Despite this, out-of-school rates at all levels remain high, particularly at the pre-primary level, where coverage is almost negligible.

In total in 2012, 87,399 children were out of school from pre-primary to lower secondary, including 34,739 primary school aged children (37%) and 33,651 lower secondary school aged children (48%).

At particular risk of being excluded from school are: nomads, poor, internally displaced people, refugees, the homeless, girls and children affected by conflict and natural disasters. Some of these at risk populations are not Djiboutian nationals and therefore not being given priority.


Poverty, particularly among families who rely on children either for generating additional income or to help with house chores.

Low quality of education and facilities, including overcrowding in classes.

Social attitudes that see no or limited value in education, particularly for girls. This is compounded by the low quality of education on offer in some cases.

Preschool education is not compulsory and in addition, services are almost entirely private and fee paying and found only in Djibouti City.

There are few services for disabled children, and disabilities are often undiagnosed.

Some children lack birth certificates, particularly in rural areas and among immigrant and refugee groups.


The education strategy 2010-2019 aims to strengthen education quality, improve access capacities and reinforce institutional management.

Public or community-based preschool education programs being initiated with the Education Action Plan 2014-2016.

Since a large portion of the state budget is already allocated to education, new interventions targeting marginalized populations must be highly cost-effective.

Non-formal education centers provide education to homeless and other vulnerable children who have passed the entry age to primary education, or those without birth certificate.

The Ministry of Education is currently building and renovating classrooms, and also piloting special education classes.

There is a monitoring system for children with educational difficulties that should reduce drop out.

Article 14 of the General Education Law, states that children regularly residing in the Republic of Djibouti should be in school (irrespective of their residential or other status).

Social support being provided to reduce the cost of education for families (school kits).


  • Improve the collection and sharing of population data among government, multilateral agencies and other stakeholders. This should better reflect the educational situation of refugees and mobile populations.
  • Ensure than planning is based on all available information with published medium-term spending frameworks and up-to-date budget requests.
  • Publish available information on disabilities in order to assist with social mobilization; improve data on this issue, including through systematic tests at the start of the first school year; and redeploy trained teachers to classes with disabled children.
  • Implement Article 14 of the General Law. This includes considering informal education for children living and working on the streets and developing special measures to be piloted among nomadic populations.
  • Reduce or remove birth registration fees, simplify procedures and set up mobile courts to improve access.
  • Continue to further promote the quality of education which would promote the social representation of education.
  • Insure that more priority is given to the more underserved and vulnerable population groups.