Basic Education in Africa Programme

©UNESCO Extraordinary progress has been made in primary education in Africa, but there is still much to do.

The Basic Education Africa Programme (BEAP) is a UNESCO supported initiative for Africa. It seeks to support a holistic and comprehensive reform of basic education to assist countries in providing a core foundational period for all children.

Some 43 million school-aged children are still outside the formal education system in sub-Saharan Africa and quality education still remains a major challenge.

The focus of BEAP

The BEAP focuses on access, quality, relevance and equity in an expanded basic education framework. It promotes a 9-10 years free and uninterrupted basic education of quality, linked to at least one year of pre-school education.

The implementation strategy revolves around three main areas: advocacy and policy advice; capacity building and technical support.

Much attention is given to developing a competency-based curriculum to enhance learning and provide knowledge, skills and values relevant to subsequent levels of education and/or the world of work.

Main objectives

1. To strengthen countries' capacities to develop and effectively implement sound education policies, results-based programmes and activities and realistic education budgets;

2. To foster research, quality data collection including financial data, and promote knowledge sharing through partnerships with for example universities and research institutions;

3. To reinforce the capacity of national education teams to leverage increased support to education and advance country leadership and accountability;

4. To build a critical mass of competency-based curriculum developers and teachers to enhance learning. A Postgraduate Diplomat in Curriculum Design and Development was launched in October 2011.


As an increasing number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa are moving towards expanding their basic education cycles, they are being faced with multiple challenges when it comes to implementation. In response to the call from countries to accompany them through the reform process, UNESCO is designing a number of tools including a planning guidebook. The guidebook aims to serve as an analytical framework to guide the reflection and operationalization of basic education reform at country level, to be adapted to the specific context and needs of each country in order to set appropriate policies and to ensure their effective implementation. The Guidebook will be published in early 2016.

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