Alice Albright is in Sierra Leone this week to launch the US$17.2 million program ‘Getting it right – Building a strong foundation for learning’.
At a launch ceremony attended by President Julius Maada Bio, the First Lady, and several members of the Sierra Leone cabinet, the GPE CEO commended the government’s commitment to children.
Free quality education for all children is the flagship program of the new government because of the progress it will drive in other sectors. At the launch, President Bio said education was dear to his heart and central to Sierra Leone’s development priorities.
He added that the GPE support will be critical to help Sierra Leone reach the Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG 4).
Mary Hunt from DFID, which is the coordinating agency for education in Sierra Leone, added that GPE “drives lasting partnerships between the government and all other stakeholders to achieve systemic change,” calling this model “transformative”.
The GPE program, with UNICEF as grant agent, aims to build strong foundations for learning through increased equitable access to early childhood education, improvements in early grade reading and math, better school monitoring, data collection, learning assessment and analysis.
Once known for its high educational standards, Sierra Leone has suffered great blows to its education system due to a brutal civil war and the Ebola outbreak more recently.
Nonetheless, Sierra Leoneans bounce back and continue steadfast on the track to a better future – starting by getting education right for their children. A very good place to start.