Education system hit hard by combined impacts of COVID-19, food insecurity and conflict
Addis Ababa, January 25, 2023 – Wrapping up a three-day visit to Ethiopia - a country hit hard by the combined impacts of COVID-19, food insecurity and conflict – Laura Frigenti, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), called for investments in education to return to their pre-crisis levels. This is her first official visit since taking up her position as CEO in December 2022.
“During this visit, I met with students, teachers, headmasters and parents and partners to discuss the many hurdles that the education sector in Ethiopia is facing,” said Frigenti. “Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, drought and conflict, the amount of government resources going to education has shrunk from an exemplary 26% pre-crisis to 15% today. Reversing this trend through domestic and international support is a priority to get all of Ethiopia’s 26 million school-aged children in class and learning.”
Currently, there are 3.5 million children out of school in Ethiopia with 1.3 million more at risk of dropping out.
“This visit coincided with the International Day of Education, an important moment to focus on the role of education as a springboard and a precondition for stronger economies and fairer, more stable societies. As Africa’s second most populous country and one of its fastest growing economies, renewed investment in education is a critical part of Ethiopia’s growth, prosperity and stability.”
Despite the many challenges that the country has faced, Ethiopia’s investment in education has delivered strong results. Primary enrollment has increased from 50% to 100% in the past 15 years; 300,000 teachers received in-service training in the five years to 2018 and over 170 million textbooks, teacher guides and supplementary materials have been distributed to schools. Ethiopia is the largest recipient of GPE funds since 2004, at US$558 million. US$190 million in GPE grants are currently being rolled out across the country, benefitting 18.5 million children.
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About the Global Partnership for Education
GPE is a shared commitment to ending the world’s learning crisis. We mobilize partners and funds to support nearly 90 lower-income countries to transform their education systems so that every girl and boy can get the quality education they need to unlock their full potential and contribute to building a better world.
Tamara Kummer, GPE Head of Communications, @email,
Tel: + 33 7 82 26 07 18