WASHINGTON, June 27, 2014 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved US$3.5 million in continuing support to help São Tomé and Principe expand training for its primary school teachers and begin training for preschool teachers. The goal is to improve the quality of education at all levels and to improve the overall governance of the education sector.
In recent years, São Tomé and Principe has made education a top priority and almost every child is enrolled in primary school. However, the quality of education is insufficient because there are not enough trained teachers, and the school curriculum is not well developed.
Today’s new grant from the International Development Association (IDA*) will scale up the ongoing Quality Education for All Project with four new activities to support students in primary school. An additional 267 primary education teachers will be trained, covering all unqualified primary education teachers in the country. The country’s teacher training school will be enhanced with new computer equipment and educational materials, so it can offer a full program for pre-school and primary education teachers before they begin working with children in the classroom.
“The education sector has been and remains a priority in public spending in São Tomé and Principe. Despite important achievements, the education system faces challenges with respect to efficiency, quality and governance,” says Gregor Binkert, World Bank Country Director for São Tomé and Principe. “This project will help to bridge this gap and will ensure that the children in São Tomé and Principe are learning the basic skills that will help them achieve a brighter future.”
Schools will also benefit from today’s funds: All primary schools will be upgraded to have internet connectivity, and the curriculum materials for pre-school classrooms will be developed. Necessary textbooks and other materials for teachers and students will be printed or purchased for use in the classroom.
“This Project expands teacher training so that all unqualified primary education teachers will receive adequate training tailored to their specific needs,” says Geraldo Joao Martins, World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “The interventions supported by the Project will contribute to better teacher training and improvements in the quality of learning in pre-school and primary school for all children in São Tomé and Principe.”