COVID-19 response

Allocation: US$3.5 million

Years: 2020-2022

Grant agent: World Bank

Key documents:

The US$3.5 million grant supports:

  • radio, mobile and television educational programming
  • providing educational packets with a priority for the most vulnerable communities
  • training teachers to deliver education content across distance learning platforms
  • providing specialized support to children with disabilities through phone check-ins, remote psychosocial support and relevant materials (braille)
  • an online platform to serve as a repository for all learning materials
  • internet routers and radios for schools
  • school meals for families with school children
  • clean schools and refurbished health facilities
  • an accelerated learning program so students can catch up, including psychosocial support to students and teachers
  • a public awareness campaign that promotes good hygiene and handwashing in school, including critical messaging around health, safety and learning both during the COVID-19 crisis and after when children return to school.

The initiatives above are based on the Ministry of Education COVID-19 response plan.

In late March 2020, the UNICEF office in the Gambia received a GPE grant of US$70,000 to support the Ministry of Education with its COVID response.

The funds were used to equip schools with minimum hygiene packages, to support the recording and delivery of distance learning programs through radio and TV for home-based learning, and to provide distance learning materials to schools.

Education in The Gambia

Over the past 15 years the ministry of basic and secondary education has focused on improving access, equity, quality and relevance, and improved sector management. Thanks to these efforts, more children go to school, education infrastructure has improved, teacher supply has increased, and teachers have been better supported through content and pedagogical training. 

While the country made considerable progress in the earlier part of the decade, for the last 5 years, key education indicators have stagnated, and the system faces several challenges related to access, equity, learning outcomes and efficiency.

The Education Sector Strategic Plan 2016-2030 represents a crucial step in articulating the country’s priorities and educational vision, covering all education sub-sectors, from early-childhood to higher education, and including specific strategies to improve equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

The plan, appraised in August 2017, was endorsed by the local education group in November 2017.

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Latest grant

A girl in The Gambia.

A girl in The Gambia.

CREDIT: Allan Hopkins
Development objective: Increase access to early childhood development and basic education and improve quality of teaching and learning.
Allocation: US$12,500,000
Years: 2018-2023
Grant agent: WB
Utilization: US$16,457,576

The education sector support program (ESSP), supported in part by a US$5.3 million GPE grant, aims to increase access to early childhood and basic education. This is achieved by improving school infrastructure, offering second-chance programs and conditional cash transfers, and providing quality improvement interventions such as a curriculum reform, textbook distribution, teacher standards development and training, and strengthening EMIS and monitoring of learning outcomes. The program has three components.

The goal of component 1 is to enhance access to early childhood and basic education by constructing early childhood and lower and upper basic education classrooms; establishing a small fund for special needs modifications; offering transportation to schools in targeted communities; introducing a targeted incentive program in select districts; expanding support to koranic schools; piloting a second chance education program; and conducting sensitization campaigns and consultations.

Component 2 aims to improve the quality of teaching and learning by the sequenced revision of the curriculum for early childhood through Grade 9 with a focus on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and English, the development of a coherent strategy framework for teacher training and management to improve teacher effectiveness, as well as through the targeted support to recruitment and deployment efforts.

The goal of component 3 is to provide technical and institutional support by enhancing the system for continuous implementation of assessment of learning outcomes, strengthening data systems, funding of a service delivery indicators exercise, and enhancing capacity to support data driven policies at the national level.

An additional financing of US$7.2 million was granted in 2021 and expands most of the subcomponents of the current program, while maintaining the overall design and development objectives. The majority of the additional financing goes toward overhauling pre-service and in-service teacher training, with a smaller set of funds set aside for enhancing the performance management system of teachers, improving technology capacity, and expanding the activities under the parent project.


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Utilization Grant agent  
COVID-19 2020-2022 3,500,000 0 WB  
Program implementation and Multiplier 2018-2023 12,500,000 16,457,576 WB Progress report
Program implementation 2014-2018 6,897,233 6,897,233 WB Completion report
2009-2013 27,998,912 27,998,912 WB Completion report
2006-2008 9,400,000 9,400,000 WB  
2004-2005 4,000,000 4,000,000 WB  
Sector plan development 2020-2023 600,000 359,919 WB  
2016-2018 320,732 440,250 WB  
2012-2014 249,717 249,717 WB  
Program development 2020-2021 100,000 98,111 WB  
2017-2018 199,800 199,611 WB  
2013-2014 195,341 195,341 WB  
  Total 65,961,735 66,296,670    
Data last updated: May 26, 2023

As part of its investment in civil society advocacy and social accountability efforts, GPE’s Education Out Loud fund is supporting the Education For All Campaign Network (EFANet) for the 2019-2021 period.

This builds on 11 years of Civil Society Education Fund (CSEF) support to national education coalitions for their engagement in education sector policy dialogue.

GPE had provided the Education For All Campaign Network (EFANet) with a grant from the CSEF to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Last updated September 09, 2021