Mozambique’s Efforts to Improve Access and Quality of Education Receive a New Boost

July 24, 2015

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2015 — The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved today the second additional financing to the Republic of Mozambique’s Education Sector Support Project (ESSP) in the amount of US$50 million International Development Association (IDA)* grant. This complements a grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) in the amount of US$57.9 million which the World Bank will supervise. These grants support ESSP to improve access to and quality and equity of education.

The funds will be channeled through the Education Sector Support Fund, known as FASE from its Portuguese acronym, which receives financial contributions from ten donors (including GPE and IDA) to support effective implementation of the country’s 2016-2018 Education Strategic Plan (PEE).

Mozambique’s education sector has registered considerable expansion over the recent years. Between 2009 and 2014, net enrollment in Grade 1 increased from 67 to 82 percent. However, recent evidence shows significant challenges throughout Mozambique in learning outcomes in primary education related to low retention, a sub-optimal learning environment, and issues with management at the school level. 

“Education is the bedrock of societies and sustainable development. I’m pleased we are embracing this cause by yet another demonstration of our commitment to this major development goal. Among other things, these two additional financing, totaling US$107.9 million, will support greater focus on educational results, through improved access, learning, and schools governance,” said Mark Lundell, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique.

“Mozambique has shown strong commitment for making education the key pillar for the country’s socio-economic development,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer, Global Partnership for Education. “Mozambique is one of the first countries to receive a grant under the Global Partnership’s new funding model, which incentivizes countries to improve equity, efficiency and quality in education by linking a portion of funding to results. This is a testament to Mozambique’s commitment to getting strong results,” Albright added.

The additional financing will support the scaling up of selected activities under the original project with a focus on addressing key bottlenecks to improving learning outcomes in the first cycle of primary education and enhance the sector’s efficiency. Some of those activities include: improving school readiness (through expanding access to Early Childhood Development programs); enhancing learning environment, through the implementation of a curriculum reform and additional teacher training; and enhancing local management and governance through increased supervision by districts, enhanced capacity of school councils, as well as the targeting of resources to achieve learning for all, with a focus on the most vulnerable. In addition, the AF brings about a strong focus on results through the introduction of a variable tranche which will be disbursed against pre-agreed results in key areas.

“The overarching focus of the most recent Government’s PEE is on improving education quality especially during primary education in response to evidence of low learning outcomes and issues with retention in the first cycle of primary education, said Fadila Caillaud, Senior Economist and Team Leader for the operation. “This AF supports the implementation of the Government’s plan, namely through greater focus on  improving school readiness; ensuring classroom dynamics that focus on key learning outcomes (basic literacy and numeracy); strengthening local governance and responsibility; and enhancing equitable, effective and efficient utilization of existing financial and human resources.” 

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.

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