Washington, D.C., April 27, 2016 -- The Global Partnership for Education is pleased to welcome four new partner countries. Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines will be the 62nd, 63rd, 64th and 65th partner country respectively.
Working with GPE partners based in the countries, the four new partners have articulated their education priorities for the coming years focusing on improving the quality of education for all students in their countries.
“We welcome Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the Global Partnership for Education. We look forward to working with their governments, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and development partners to ensure that all children in these four countries receive a quality basic education, including the most marginalized,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education.
As GPE partners, each country is now eligible to apply for a program implementation grant in the amount of up to US$ 0.5 million over three years. In order to reduce transaction costs while ensuring GPE’s added-value, the four countries decided to develop one regional program for US$ 2 million under the coordination and representation of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) which is their intergovernmental body.
“The OECS Commission is pleased that four of our Member States have joined the partnership and the opportunity this presents for our region to help shape solutions to the challenges in education faced by small island developing states” said Didacus Jules, Director General, OECS
The four island states join GPE based on the regional OECS Education Sector Strategy (OESS) 2012 - 2021. Guided by its vision “Every Learner Succeeds”, the OESS provides overall direction of education development from early childhood development to tertiary and continuing education to tackle education challenges for their member states in the region.
All four countries have already achieved universal primary education, but still face critical challenges to improve the quality of education for all children, including those from lower socio-economic background. In the early grades about 50 percent of all students score low in math and 40 percent underperform in English. Gender inequalities are also a concern with declining numbers of male students moving on to upper secondary and tertiary education. How to attract and retain qualified teachers is another issue that is expected to be addressed during the OESS implementation.