World Bank Country Office in partnership with the Global Partnership for
Education and Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education on Wednesday launched
the joint finance for ‘Education Sector Support Project’ and a joint donor review.
The Education Sector Support Programme (ESSP) is designed to support school-aged children’s access to Early Childhood Development (ECD), basic education and Madrassas (Koranic centers).
The programme is being funded at a tune of $35 million with $30 million being grant from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) and a $5M grant from the Global Partnership for Education. The programme also seeks to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes from the lower and upper basic schools through to the senior secondary schools.
Speaking at the launching and donor review forum, Mrs. Claudiana Cole, Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, underscored the importance of the forum, which she said, attracted key stakeholders in the education system with a special focus on attaining accessible, equitable and all inclusive quality education for sustainable development. This initiative, she went on, is one that is of utmost importance to the government of The Gambia and the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in particular.
Minister Cole maintained that the initiative targets Region Five, an area grappling with high number of out-of-school children.
“It is an important event that marks a great milestone in our efforts to meeting the National Development Plan as well as Sustainable Development Goal number 4 (SDG4):Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is poised to use the resources provided during the intervention to ensure that the identified goals for achieving quality education are fully met,” she added.
For his part, Elene Imnadze, World Bank Country representative to The Gambia, said: “If the young people of The Gambia are to have the best chance in life, they need to have good quality education.”
He continued: “The World Bank is fully committed to this goal and ready to support The Gambia on this journey,” he assured.
The World Bank Group and the GPE, he added, are two of the few donors that are active in the sector and are seen as taking a strategic leadership role in the policy dialogue on education access and quality.