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$28m Boosts For Basic Education

Sep 3, 2009, 8:11 AM | Article By: Sainey Mk marenah

The Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, Madam Fatou Lamin Faye, has disclosed that her ministry will from 2009-2011 benefit from $28 million US Dollar fund from the World Bank's catalytic fund for the implementation of the second phase of the Education For All and Fast Track Initiative (EFA/FTI).

Madam Faye made this disclosure at the briefing session for the country's donors on the EFA\FTI last Tuesday 1st September 2009, at a ceremony held at the Regional Education Directorate in Kanifing.

Minister Faye, however, noted that the Gambia was among the first set of endorsed countries to benefit from the cataleptic fund in 2003 during which the annual allocation of US$5 million was approved for the first 2 years and US$5.5 million for the final year, amounting to US$13.4 million for the period and due to late start of disbursement, programme implementation started in 2005 and ended in 2007.

She said during the first round, countries were required to use their own processes and structures for the implementation of activities and procurement of goods and services to disburse the resources allocated on the annual basics and provide annual report to the development partners.

According to Minister Faye, the first part of the project has been completed but they have a long way to go in the next three years as they will endeavour to judiciously use the resources provided by the FTI catalytic fund.

She assured the partners of their commitment towards the achievement of the MDGs, while urging them to rededicate themselves to the cause of Gambian children and by extension to all children without whom the opportunity to be educated will perpetuate the cycle of poverty.

Speaking earlier was the UNICEF country representative to the Gambia, Min Whee Kan who noted that the principles of the FTI call for country ownership, local level empowerment, mutual, accountability, donor harmonisation and support, based on the monetary consigns in the Paris declaration.

UNICEF country rep stated that countries benefited from the catalytic fund must demonstrate commitment, adopt rights policies and adequate absorptive capacity to timely absolve resources and to scale-up the implementation of the sector plan.

Madam Whee Kan also informed the gathering that the Gambia has made tremendous progress in the area of basic education and gender. But she stressed that gender parity in enrolment has been attained at the basic education level in 2005.

Mr. Baboucarr Boye, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic Education moderated the briefing.