Nearly 250 million textbooks and teaching materials to schools, upgraded qualifications of 300,000 teachers, resources for school-level quality improvements, and improved accountability through a sound inspection system. The World Bank, together with development partners, including Finland, have supported the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia to substantially increasing the number of students enrolled in schools and improving the quality of education through contributions to the General Education Quality Improvement Program (GEQIP) I and II.
Despite the achievements, Ethiopia’s education sector continues to face serious challenges, in particular inequitable access to education opportunities. Furthermore, Ethiopia’s investment in teacher training has not fully translated into improvements in teaching quality and effectiveness or learning achievements.
The new four-year program General Education Quality Improvement Program for Equity (GEQIP-E), scheduled to start in July 2018, will continue supporting the quality, internal efficiency, equity, and capacity development in primary and secondary education. Finland has been active in the development co-operation community and has served an instrumental role in the formulation of the focus on equity in discussions between the Ministry of Education and the development partners. Building on experiences gained over the years from bilateral special needs education and inclusive education projects in Ethiopia, a more holistic approach to addressing the push and pull factors that hinder children’s educational access and retention has been adopted. A special emphasis will be placed on equity and addressing the needs of female students, pastoralists, and those with special needs or disabilities, particularly in the emerging regions of the country. Among general quality improvement measures, GEQIP-E will empower girls, reduce violence against them in schools and provide them with life skills. Similarly, it will address the unique needs of pastoralist communities with additional resources and customized approaches. The project will promote the inclusion of children with special needs in education by providing supplementary school grants to transform 687 schools to inclusive education resource centers.
GEQIP-E will be implemented in all 35,000 public primary and secondary schools in Ethiopia. In total, 27 million students and 520,000 teachers are expected to benefit from the project. The program will be implemented by the Ministry of Education together with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation, the Regional Education Bureaus, and the participating universities and teacher training institutions across the country.
The $300 million IDA grant in GEQIP-E will be supplemented with additional funding of around $140 million from development partners, including DFID, Finland, and UNICEF through the Multi Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank. Apart from the joint financing, Finland will support the GEQIP-E program with additional technical assistance of 850,000EUR focusing on strengthening the support systems concerning particularly learners with disabilities and special educational needs.