Re-post from: GPE
Washington D.C., May 23, 2018 — Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Comoros and Somalia (Somaliland) are set to receive new grants from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) totalling more than US$45 million.
This is the second set of grant approvals by GPE’s Board of Directors since the GPE Financing Conference in February 2018 where donors pledged US$2.3 billion for 2018-2020. In March, the Board approved US$95.3 million for Cambodia (part grant), Cote d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Madagascar. Immediately after the Financing Conference, GPE announced new allocations for developing country partners, which will lead to a scale up of support for quality education outcomes over the coming years.
The new grants will support stronger management and planning of national education programs as well as directing resources to address the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized children.
“Improving learning and equity through building stronger education systems is GPE’s core business,” said Julia Gillard, Board Chair, Global Partnership for Education. “These new grants are another important step toward fulfilling our commitment to put additional donor financing to work quickly and effectively, and recognize that the learning crisis demands immediate action.”
To access funds, GPE partner countries carry out an inclusive, rigorous and transparent planning process, bringing together education ministries with their education partners and stakeholders. The sector plans are independently appraised and endorsed by in-country partners.
Governments are also required to progressively increase their domestic spending on education to at least 20 percent of their national budget. At the February Financing Conference, more than 50 GPE developing country partners committed to increase domestic spending on education to a total of US$110 billion over the next 3 years.
“GPE’s inclusive planning processes and results-based funding are delivering quality education to millions of children around the world,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education. “Our grants focus on achieving measurable results in equity, efficiency and learning outcomes, based on mutual accountability among all partners.”
The approved grants build on progress achieved through previous GPE funding, except for Cabo Verde, which recently joined the partnership and receives its first GPE grant.
Cabo Verde’s grant of US$1.4 million will focus on universal access to pre-primary education for all children aged 4 to 5 years, including those with special needs; and on ensuring equal access to universal, free education up to grade 8 particularly for the most vulnerable children and special education for children with disabilities. UNICEF is the GPE grant agent. The new education sector plan has also enabled Cabo Verde to receive US$10 million in financing from the World Bank, which will support secondary and non-formal education. Cabo Verde has committed to investing an average of 20.5 percent of total national expenditure on education for the period 2017-2020.
Cambodia receives $6.2 million, which is the results-based portion of a US$20.6 grant with UNICEF as GPE grant agent. The Board already approved US$14.4 million in March with UNESCO as GPE grant agent. The grant builds on previous progress and will help improve the quality of primary education, notably through professional development of early grade teachers. The results-based portion of the grant will depend on results achieved in the areas of equity, efficiency and learning outcomes. These include the development of a primary education scholarship framework that caters to the needs of disadvantaged children, effective implementation of school implementation plans in disadvantaged districts, and mentoring for better reading skills in early grades.
Chad will receive US$27.8 million to strengthen basic education. It will support classroom construction and other school infrastructure and provide contracts and subsidies to teachers to ease the burden on poor parents of bearing education costs. It will also support the provision of textbooks, teacher training, improve non-formal literacy training for learners aged 15 or older and reintegration of out-of-school children aged 9 to 14. The grant will also introduce a national education data information system and strengthen oversight and management capacities of the education ministry. The results-based portion of the grant (US$8.4 million) depends on: a better distribution of trained and paid teachers between urban and rural areas, improvements in the survival rate in the final grade of primary school, and kick-starting a national learning outcome assessment system. UNICEF and UNESCO are the GPE grant agents. Chad has committed to maintain education expenditure at around 20 percent of the national budget.
Comoros‘ grant of US$2.3 million will focus on improving primary education across the country. This includes strengthening governance and data use at the grassroots level across 50 schools, improving management accounting of ministry officials, training teachers, promoting inclusive education including through providing facilities for children with disabilities. UNICEF is the GPE grant agent. Comoros already allocates 24-27 percent of its budget to the education sector and plans to increase this to over 30 percent in 2018-2020.
Somalia (Somaliland) will receive a grant of US$7.7 million to improve equity through the targeted construction and rehabilitation of learning spaces and sanitation facilities. The grant will also support back-to-school campaigns, establish girl-friendly spaces and access for children with special needs. Learning quality will be addressed through distribution of materials, national examinations and early grade reading assessments, teacher training and increased access to early childhood education. Efficiency and management will be improved by supporting education management information systems, disaster and emergency planning and by strengthening community education committees. Save the Children will be the GPE grant agent. Somaliland has committed to substantially increase education expenditure towards 13 percent of its national budget by 2020, up from 7 percent in 2017.