Allocation: US$7 million
Grant agent: UNICEF
The US$7 million GPE COVID-19 grant supports:
- Learning continuity for all children at the basic education level through development and dissemination of printed learning contents, radio (with radio sets distributed to the most vulnerable), TV and online, and SMS communication to parents on their children’s learning
- Ensuring schools’ reopening according to standards that guarantee the protection of students, teachers and school personnel (schools’ disinfection; hand-washing/soap/masks kits; water points installation and rehabilitation; sensitization on disease prevention; guidance on school health and psychosocial support; school meal program, in collaboration with WFP; back-to-school campaign; learning assessment exercise and accelerated learning catch-up courses)
- Strengthening the system’s response and resilience against crises through better coordination of stakeholders and reinforcing monitoring and reporting of the COVID-19 response
- Vulnerable children (children living in rural and peri-urban areas, refugee and displaced children, orphans and other vulnerable children) through printed materials and school meals
- Children with disabilities through learning videos with subtitles and sign language translation, and psychosocial support
- Girls, with activities to prevent physical, moral and online violence, empowerment through audio-visual support, remedial learning programs for girls without access to distance learning, and WASH activities in schools, including menstrual hygiene and the practice of life skills.
In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in Republic of Congo received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education in planning its response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Education in the Republic of Congo
The Republic of Congo intends to use education as a key lever for development in order to ensure its economy is well integrated in the global economy. In particular, education is seen as a way to produce a well-trained and qualified workforce.
Some of the challenges that the country faces in the education sector are the under-development of pre-primary opportunities, as well as high repetition rates and large numbers of students per class in primary schools. Moreover, the quality of primary education is inadequate. Only 60% of children attend secondary school, and higher or vocational education need to be enhanced to better respond to market needs. Moreover, large inequalities still remain based on geographical location or ethnicity.
The education sector strategy 2015-2025 was developed with the full participation of key stakeholders under the leadership of the 3 ministries in charge of education. The three main axes of the strategy and related objectives are:
- To give all children a 10-year basic education through:
- Quality primary education to equip all children with basic competencies
- Lower-secondary education for all, with the options of general, technical or vocational studies
- Technical schools providing an alternative to general studies
- Expanding pre-primary education opportunities in particular for underprivileged and rural areas
- Non-formal literacy programs for children who have left school and young adults.
- To ensure adequacy between education and the economy's need, through:
- A high school program to prepare students for higher education and work
- Technical high schools producing competencies that are relevant to the country’s economy
- Science education to develop a mathematic and scientific culture
- Higher education aiming to train a workforce for social and economic development.
- To enhance the management of the education sector: two programs (information & steering and management) will ensure the government possesses the tools needed to implement the education strategy.
The Republic of Congo intends to increase its funding to education up to 20% of the country’s budget for recurrent expenditures, provided the country’s oil revenues continue to grow.
The coordinating agency for the education sector in the Republic of Congo is UNICEF.
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The $10.7 million grant supports the Education Sector Strategy Support Program (Programme d’Appui à la Stratégie Sectorielle de l’Éducation – PASSE), which supports the implementation of the sector strategy in the areas of equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.
The grant is composed of a fixed part of US$7.49 million and a variable part (results-based) of US$3.21 million. It finances specific activities of the education sector strategy as per its multiyear action plan.
The main components of the program are:
- Increase equity at the primary and pre-primary levels through a package of activities to enhance learning conditions in 40 schools in the Cuvette-Ouest and Plateau departments where repetition rates are highest and the proportion of students who are girls is lower than in the other departments.
The program will support classroom construction, pedagogical materials, training, support to water, sanitation, hygiene, school feeding programs and the distribution of “school kits” for students. This component also includes distribution of school kits to vulnerable children nationwide.
- Improve the quality of learning through in-service teacher training for volunteer teachers and distribution of pedagogical materials including textbooks and exercise workbooks.
The program activities will be complementary to efforts covered by other sources of financing in the education sector strategy, including IDA-financed activities, and provide support to volunteer teachers nationwide.
- Improve efficiency through interventions that will contribute to a reduction in repetition rates. The program will support an analysis of the causes of repetition and a revision of official policy that govern how schools make decisions on promotion and repetition.
Technical support will be provided for the coordination and the management of curriculum revision, including the integration of pre-primary schooling, analysis and identification of pedagogical practices that can be scaled up, better articulation between basic education and vocational and technical education and the introduction of a 10-year basic education cycle.
This component also includes support for the renovation of the existing education management information system and ensure annual data collection and production of statistical yearbooks.
All amounts are in US dollars.
|Grant type||Years||Allocations||Utilization||Grant agent|
|Sector plan development||2020||233,500||233,500||UNESCO|