ULAANBAATAR, Sept. 22, 2006 – Helping Mongolia achieve universal basic education for all school children countrywide, the country was accepted into the prestigious “Education For All” Fast-Track Initiative (FTI) Partnership, the World Bank reported today.
The “Education for All” FTI Partnership is the first-ever global compact on education, assisting low-income countries achieve free, universal basic education by 2015. Built on the mutual commitments of both donors and countries, the FTI is a compact defined by coordinated financial and technical support in a transparent and predictable manner, coupled with a promise from developing countries to put primary education at the forefront of their domestic agenda.
“Being selected for the FTI Partnership is a tremendous honor, and it will assist Mongolia greatly in its efforts to provide free, universal basic education for all children,” said Mr. O. Enkhtushvin Mongolian Minister of Education, Culture and Science.
As a member of the FTI Partnership, Mongolia is now eligible to receive a grant from the FTI donors to cover a funding gap in the education budget from 2007 to 2009. The funding gap is based on the additional resources that will be necessary to successfully implement the goals of the Education Sector Master Plan. In October, the FTI Donor Committee (Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK, Spain, the European Commission and Ireland) will make a decision on the specific grant allocation for Mongolia.
Mongolia was accepted into the “Education for All” FTI Partnership following the endorsement of its Education Sector Master Plan 2006-2015 by local education donors and the country’s Cabinet on August 16, 2006. Mongolia is the 21st country accepted into the FTI, and would be the 10th country to receive funding from the FTI donors. Funding is only available to countries with an insufficient number of donors and good absorption capacity.
Under the terms of the FTI, educational financial assistance is chartered to expand access to quality basic education for all children of Mongolian society – urban and rural, rich and poor, nomadic and settled, as well as all geographic locations and ethnic groups. Improving access and the quality of the basic education system for all groups will be increasingly important as the Mongolian education system expands from 11 to 12 years in 2008, consistent with world-wide norms.
This week, local education donors will meet with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and the Ministry of Finance to discuss key funding priorities within the basic education sector, as documented in the Education Sector Master Plan. The donors will work with the government to draft a proposal for FTI grant financing and develop a framework for monitoring the implementation and performance of FTI funding and the Education Sector Master Plan.
About the “Education For All” Fast-Track Initiative Partnership
In response to more than 100 million children worldwide out of school, world leaders in 2002 established the “Education for All” Fast Track Initiative, a first-ever global compact to help low-income countries achieve a free, universal basic education by 2015.
The compact, based on mutual accountability, aims to provide the incentives and resources to empower poor nations to build and implement sound education plans. Developing nations are responsible for taking ownership of crafting national education plans, with budget accountability and a greater commitment of political and financial resources, while donor nations commit to providing the additional technical know-how and funding required for ensuring that no nation that met its obligations would fail for lack of resources or technical capacity.
Globally, the FTI encompasses all major donors for education—more than 30 bilateral, regional and international agencies and development banks.