GPE has been a real catalyst for education. Its arrival in Burkina Faso made other donors see that they could trust the country. That trust brought more donors to the table and helped us to secure more funding. GPE has really listened to the local group of education donors to understand how the country works. GPE helped gather them and it finances their decisions through the pooled fund. GPE is a partnership of trust.
This exposure that the GPE has given us, by us meeting together, over 65 countries across the world, has really added a lot of value in the way we contribute to the policy making decisions back in our countries.
The [GPE] funds really contributed positively to the improvement of education in my country. There are remarkable results related to changes in perception of communities towards education. The fund of GPE is designed in a way to go directly for results and impact on education. For example, we constructed more than 1,600 classrooms, and this really created changes for students. Now students are studying in a decent classrooms and facilities. Also GPE provided textbooks, something no other partner is supporting. In general, GPE interventions in my have had a very positive impact on the quality of education.
GPE is the largest platform that funds education in the world. Its first value is about budget. After the GPE Replenishment Conference in Dakar, we received a funding announcement of $31.6 million to address both emergency and initial reconstruction issues. This is an extremely important contribution given the difficulties that the CAR has experienced in recent years and which have a very serious impact on the education system.
Three years ago we were granted US$2 million from GPE to implement the OECS education sector strategy [US$0.5 million each for Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines]. Our focus has been on teacher training, curriculum development and assessment, and leadership. We get support from different donor agencies, but GPE has allowed us to work on the implementation of the regional education sector plan. While the focus is on the 4 islands, other islands have benefited from it.
I am very grateful to GPE and all of our donors and partners for their extended support. In the last 10 years we improved the quality of education in Tajikistan and achieved the goals we agreed on. The support that GPE has provided for the education reform process has been invaluable, priceless. It will be reflected as a golden goal in our history.
Over the past three years, partners have been working through GPE and I can say for sure there is a return on investment for the resources. GPE has been very important in the methodology of moving to a curriculum that will be based on competency. Our children are better today than they were three years ago before we started this program.
From a financial and technical point of view, GPE shows the way to donors who otherwise may not be involved in the education sector.
…The most important thing about the involvement of GPE is that it integrates with the country’s process. The country determines what the needs are and what it wants the financing for. That is not what we have been accustomed to. Usually it is the cooperating partners that bring in their own programs and sell them to us. It is just the opposite in this case: we will have to sell this plan to them.
GPE allowed Benin to increase the number of classrooms and to keep children at school at noon to allow them to study well in better conditions.
GPE is the "melting pot" of dialogue between all the technical and financial partners in the education sector. It is around this project that all the donors meet. Debates are held together, priorities are defined together.
Demand for education is high in Burkina Faso. We have a young population: 70% are below 20 years of age. The issue of human capital is essential to our development. From infrastructure to teacher training, thanks to the GPE we are reaching those who are most remote and giving any child who is out of school—and their parents—the opportunity for social mobility and a better life.
The main value added of GPE is the flexibility for its financing. Unlike other donors where resources focus on a specific geographical area or theme, GPE looks at the government’s own resources and other donors’ resources, then fills the gaps. That is important.
GPE has helped us put a spotlight on education in Uganda. The GPE process brings together government partners and donors which improves coordination and enables us to do things differently and better.
GPE helped support the implementation of the sector plan. GPE has contributed significantly to improving access, not only through the construction of classrooms, but especially at the level of retention with the establishment of school canteens and school kits in disadvantaged municipalities. These were actions that were not supported by other partners.
Thanks to GPE, the government now calls on CSOs to work together to design and implement education projects. For me, it’s most important that these projects focus on girls’ education. Because GPE insists that civil society have a seat at the table, we are now working closely with the Ministry of Education to design and implement a variety of strategies aimed at keeping girls enrolled in school.
In school canteens funded by GPE, women buy local products and prepare things that children are used to. There are fewer losses. The GPE school lunches are very adapted and very integrated with the communities. There have been increases in the number of students and children come regularly to school.
GPE has played a key role from the beginning of the process. If it wasn’t for the US$500,000 GPE grant we might have not been able to produce the education sector plan, or it would have cost us much more to do so. Being able to rely on GPE and the continuing support from the World Bank has helped us immensely in this process and enabled us to complete the plan successfully. We know that GPE will have a fundamental strategic role to play in helping achieve the SDGs.
The GPE program brought in a structured way of collaborating between civil society and government ministries. The GPE processes have improved accountability and management. The systemic change is a big contribution that we attribute to GPE.
The local education group (LEG) was created by GPE to put all key actors working on education and development together. The LEG put in place for education in Tajikistan is now a model for other ministries. It creates a coordination spirit that goes beyond what is linked to funds.
Most of the population in our country is located in the rural areas. GPE has contributed significantly to ensuring that education is free for all, especially for these vulnerable students, by providing school materials to all students, building classrooms and providing school furniture.
The boost that GPE gave to Tajikistan is the culture of monitoring. The E.U. has a strong reliance on GPE to lead the implementation of the national strategy. The added-value of GPE is the way they formalize and support a clear vision of what countries want to achieve.
The GPE fund has allowed us to carry out studies, one of which is the national assessment for learning achievement. This has helped the Ministry identify some of the challenges that the education system is undergoing at the implementation level and we are able to identify and address challenges faced by learners, teachers and education officials. The studies are very expensive.
GPE funding has played a key role in boosting the government’s motivation and its decision to dedicate 20% of the country’s budget to education.
GPE is important in providing additional funding to important themes—including equity issues, girls’ education, wealth and geographical disparity—that the government may not have the resources to support. Through GPE we can ensure that these things are taken into account in sector planning.
GPE’s collaborative, multi-sectoral approach is delivering education results in partner countries and transforming education in Kenya. As a private sector player, I’ve participated in one of the GPE-funded projects, which is greatly improving competencies in early grade mathematics and strengthening education management in Kenya.
When I think about GPE’s work in Tajikistan, I think about happy children and teachers who got new schools with new furniture, digital learning materials, school facilities, curriculum and teacher training. GPE helped to strengthen the management capacity at all levels. Now these things are properly planned and managed.
GPE has helped us train our teachers to provide better quality education in primary school. This program has funded and equipped the schools with many tools and programs—all of this in order to improve the quality of the teaching.