Global Partnership for Education injects $176 million to scale up funding for children’s education

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The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) is putting US$176.6 million in new grants to work to support high-quality schooling for children in Benin, Burundi, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania and Uzbekistan. The grants were approved by the GPE Board of Directors.

The new funding will help the governments of the six countries to strengthen their national education systems through a set of interventions ranging from more and better early childhood development, accelerated early grade learning, training for teachers, the creation and distribution of high-quality learning materials, improved physical infrastructure, more rigorous education data collection, monitoring and analysis and more professional education management.

“These grants are prime examples of GPE’s core transformative power: to provide developing countries the essential resources they need to educate all their children,” said Julia Gillard, Chair of GPE’s Board of Directors and former Prime Minister of Australia. “GPE financing is at work in countries around the world helping governments to give children – particularly girls and other vulnerable groups– the knowledge and skills to thrive.”

GPE’s results-based funding model makes one-third of each grant only available once countries have met agreed goals to improve the efficiency of their education system such as more children staying in and completing school; enhance equity to ensure underserved groups of children get access to quality education; and produce better learning outcomes.   

Three of the countries – Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Uzbekistan – also received GPE Multiplier grants, which provide US$1 for every US$3 countries raise in new and additional funding from other sources. The GPE Multiplier is an innovative finance instrument that catalyzes more and better investment in education. Since 2018, 12 countries have secured more than US$100 million in allocations, which has mobilized more than US$440 million in support of quality education.

“The newest tool in our toolbox – the GPE Multiplier – is leveraging more finance from a variety of donors,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer. “Ultimately, it’s enhancing our ability to help developing country partners finance and build strong and sustainable education systems.”

All grants build on progress achieved through previous GPE support:

Benin will receive a grant of US$19.4 million to address education priorities, such as enhancing the quality of teaching and learning through teacher training and professional development, extending primary schooling to more children, particularly in underserved regions, and to children with disabilities and strengthen education service delivery, including monitoring and evaluation capabilities. Enrollment at nearly every level of education in Benin has increased significantly since 2011, but many students in early grades struggle with significant learning gaps. The results-based portion will become available when Benin dispatches teachers more equitably across the country, increases the number of children transitioning from primary to lower secondary school and improves monitoring of learning outcomes. The World Bank is the GPE grant agent. 

Burundi’s grant of US$25.6 million will help boost the quality of children’s learning by building more primary school classrooms in the most vulnerable areas of the country and providing more training and better conditions for teachers country-wide. The grant will also reinforce the capacity of the country to meet the needs of marginalized groups such as children with disabilities, girls, out of school children, and children returnees as well as to promote vocational education, to better use data and develop long term strategic plans. GPE will disburse the results-based portion of the grant once measures have been implemented in schools to reduce grade repetition and to improve learning in and of the French language, and once the number of students per class has been reduced across the country. The GPE grant agent is Agence française de développement (AFD).

Tanzania’s US$90 million grant will build on its successful efforts to enroll more children – especially the most vulnerable – in quality pre-primary, primary and non-formal education by strengthening teacher training and professional development, distribute more quality teaching and learning materials to underserved areas and improve planning and management in education. Tanzania’s 2016 commitment to provide twelve years of free and compulsory basic education has resulted in higher enrollment and a drop in the number of out-of-school children. The new GPE grant builds on this progress. The results-based portion of the grant is dependent on more girls transitioning from primary to secondary school, higher student retention rates at the primary and lower secondary levels and improved primary students’ reading skills. The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) is the GPE grant agent.