Washington, D.C., June 10, 2019 – The Republic of Maldives has joined the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) as the 68th developing country partner continuing the growth and reach of the partnership.
“GPE is pleased to welcome the Maldives into the partnership,” said Alice Albright, CEO of the Global Partnership for Education. “We will work with the Maldivian Government to ensure all children get the schooling they need and deserve to tap their full potential. We look forward to helping the government to strengthen the education system, so the country’s young people are equipped with skills that will help them succeed in the labor market of the 21st century.”
The Maldives, the 22nd GPE development country partner that is also a member of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation, is an archipelago in the Indian Ocean made up of nearly 1,200 small islands with a population of 436,000. About 89,000 students are enrolled in pre-primary through higher secondary schools.
“Becoming a GPE developing country partner is one of the most important steps the Maldives has taken as part of our commitment to strengthening education,” said Dr. Aishath Ali, the Maldives Minister of Education. “Education is a driving force for our national development and prosperity. We recognize the importance of increased investment in education from our national budget, and we highly value collaborating with GPE and other partners, which help us reach our educational goals.”
Over the past year, GPE has supported the Maldives with a US$500,000 grant to prepare a comprehensive education sector plan for 2019-2023. The plan was recently approved by the Government of Maldives and endorsed by development partners. The country is now eligible to apply for a grant of US$3.5 million, including US$1 million from the GPE Multiplier, to implement priorities outlined in the new plan which focuses on:
- Extending high-quality, free education to all Maldivian children from pre-school to grade 12.
- Improving the quality of teaching, curricular materials and education infrastructure.
- Strengthening the ministry of education’s ability to support quality schooling across the archipelago.
In spite of the challenge its geography poses to the delivery of education across the islands, more than 90 percent of Maldivian children are enrolled in primary and lower secondary school and there are nearly equal numbers of girls and boys in school at both levels. Enrollment at the upper secondary level is at 44.5% with more girls than boys.
GPE supports low- and lower middle-income countries as well as small island developing countries, such as the Maldives, in recognition of their special development challenges and education needs.
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