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Secondary Education Improvement Project

Posted by Business in Ghana on August 1, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  1. Why did the World Bank agree to lend money to Ghana for secondary education at this time of tight budget control? Ghanas Constitution mandates that all efforts are made to make education gradually universal and progressively free. With access to primary education becoming near universal in Ghana, new priorities are emerging at post-basic level where the demand for secondary education is fast increasing and the supply of SHS has not kept pace.  Ghanas middle income status will also require more secondary level graduates with the relevant skills to continue their education and/or enter the labor market, hence investing in secondary education at this time will improve the human capital of the country, and also improve long-term competitiveness, access jobs and improve peoples lives and incomes. Borrowing for these objectives is a smart investment as the terms of borrowing from IDA is also concessional compared to the commercial financial market rates.
  2. Why only senior secondary schools and not technical or basic schools?  The purpose of the project does not preclude investing in technically oriented SHS programs and where selected SHSs offer technical and vocational programs, these will be supported.  Most of the external funding for the last 15 years has been going to basic and technical education. The SHS is considered as an underfunded level and a bottleneck in the education system with significant challenges in terms of equity, access and quality. The Banks support is not mutually exclusive of other subsectors.  In fact, the support to secondary education complements current ongoing support for increasing the quality of basic education (GPEG-US$75.5 million), improving skills training and science and technology adoption (GSTDP-US$70 million), improving higher education relevance and centers of excellence (Oil and Gas Capacity Building Project and the African Centers of Excellence Project).  The basic education sector is also well supported by several development partners whose efforts are coordinated by the education sector.  These include DFID supporting girls scholarships at primary and JHS level, USAID supporting reading and learning assessments at basic level, UNICEF supporting basic education for out of school children, JICA supporting science and math education and WFP.  The African Development Bank, Germany (KfW and GIZ) and DANIDA also provide significant support for TVET and skills development.  The Bank works closely with all of these partners to ensure collaboration and coordination in its support for education in Ghana.
  3. What are the components of the project?  The US$156 million project is intended to be implemented over a five year period, 2014-2019. It will use a results-based financing approach, which means that funds are only released based on pre-identified achievement of specific results expected to help Ghana see improved educational outcomes in an equitable manner. The results based approach, as a tool, focuses on results or outcomes rather than inputs.  The Objective of the project is to increase access to senior secondary education in underserved districts and improve quality in low-performing senior high schools in Ghana.

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