Washington, D.C., March 7, 2018 – The Board of Directors of the Global Partnership for Education approved US$95.3 million to improve the education of millions of children and youth in Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Madagascar.
The grant approvals come just one month after the GPE Financing Conference in Dakar where donors pledged US$2.3 billion for 2018 to 2020. More than 50 developing countries committed to increase their domestic education expenditures to a total of US$110 billion over the three-year period, including the five countries receiving the grants.
The new grants will support the implementation of national education sector plans to strengthen the countries’ education systems over the coming years. GPE supports rigorous, inclusive and transparent national planning processes, bringing together education ministries and donors with civil society, international organizations, teachers’ organizations and other education partners.
“It is great to see such immediate and tangible outcomes following GPE’s recent Financing Conference with five new grants to support national efforts to invest in the lives and future of children and youth,” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair of the Global Partnership for Education. “GPE’s funding builds on previous progress and will help strengthen the countries’ education systems.”
In line with GPE’s results-based funding model, countries receive 70 percent of their allocation based on a robust education sector plan endorsed by national and international partners, the commitment to collect and analyze data to better manage their education system, and to progressively increase domestic spending on education to at least 20 percent of the national budget. To receive the remaining 30 percent of the allocation, countries must demonstrate results in equity, efficiency, and learning outcomes.
“The growth and expansion of GPE’s financing for developing countries reflects the ambition of GPE 2020, our strategic plan, said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education. “We will continue to work with our partners to turn the unprecedented support demonstrated in Dakar into tangible results.”
The grant for Cambodia, amounting to US$14.4 million, will build on previous progress and help improve the quality of primary education, especially for children from disadvantaged groups. It will also foster effective leadership and management of education staff. Specifically, the grant will focus on continuous professional development of early grade teachers and their trainers to improve teacher qualifications and make their teaching more effective. The program targets 30 districts in five northern provinces with high grade 1 repetition rates and student dropout. Cambodia is eligible for an additional US$6.2 million which is contingent upon the country preparing a results-based financing proposal and meeting results indicators in the coming three years. Cambodia has received previous grants from GPE since 2008 totaling US$96.5 million.
Cote d’Ivoire will receive a grant of US$24.1 million, to increase access to preschool and improve learning outcomes in primary schools in six of the country’s 31 regions. The goal is to bring rural community preschools up to minimum quality standards, increase the proportion of second graders with “intermediate or high” scores on reading and math tests and increase the proportion of teachers applying new, more effective teaching practices. The program complements two projects aimed at poverty reduction and social safety nets funded by the International Development Association. For the results-based tranche of US$7.2 million, the government has agreed to specific results in children’s learning, improvements in the learning environment, inclusion of health activities in primary schools and support to community-managed preschools. Cote d’Ivoire joined GPE in 2010, and since then has received other grants totaling US$41.8 million.
The grant for The Gambia, amounting to US$5.3 million, builds on the previous Results for Education and Development (READ) project, co-financed by IDA and GPE. The new program will address access to and equity in early childhood education and basic education and is also co-financed by IDA with US$30 million. The program will include infrastructure development, second-chance programs, conditional cash transfers and interventions to improve the quality of learning, inclusive of curriculum reform, textbook distribution and teacher training. The goal is to increase the enrollment in early childhood education from 37 percent to 45 percent and improve the reading comprehension score of grade 3 students. The funding will also support the education management information system and the monitoring of learning outcomes. Since joining GPE in 2006, The Gambia has received grants totaling US$49.3 million.
The grant of US$4.7 million to Guinea-Bissau will complement financing of US$10.7 million from IDA. The program will help increase age-appropriate and on-time enrollment in grade 1, particularly of girls, and improve the teaching and learning environment in grades 1-4. The funding will also increase the number of teachers with Portuguese and math teaching skills to improve student’s learning in grades 1-4 in these two subjects. Schools will receive small grants to implement improvement plans. Since joining GPE in 2010, Guinea-Bissau has received two previous grants from GPE totaling US$12.2 million.
Madagascar will receive a GPE grant of US$46.8 million to improve school management through a new equitable national school grant system for public primary schools, particularly in high-poverty areas. The funding will also help professionalize school principals through school management guides and local training programs. In addition, the grant will support education reforms such as using mother tongue as a teaching language and curriculum reforms, and help strengthen the capacity of the ministry to implement the education sector plan. Madagascar’s results-based tranche of US$14.1 million will focus on standardized evaluations of students’ learning in Malagasy, French and mathematics, increasing transition rates from primary to lower secondary school, and placing more trained teachers in rural areas. Since 2005, Madagascar received GPE grants totaling US$210 million.
About the Global Partnership for Education: The Global Partnership for Education works with more than 60 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility and conflict-affected. GPE mobilizes financing to improve learning and equity through building stronger education systems. As the only global organization focused exclusively on improving education, GPE brings together developing country and donor country governments, multilateral development and humanitarian agencies, and organizations from the private sector, philanthropy, civil society and the teaching profession.