KATHMANDU, January 22, 2016 — The Government of Nepal and the World Bank signed an agreement today for Additional Financing (AF) grants to the ongoing Nepal School Sector Reform Program (SSRP) in the amount of $59.3 million from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and $4 million from the Results in Education for All Children (REACH).
The grant agreement was signed by Baikuntha Aryal, Joint Secretary, IECCD, Ministry of Finance and Takuya Kamata, World Bank Country Manager for Nepal.
“The World Bank is privileged to be a long-term partner of Nepal in the education sector,” said Mr. Kamata. “Through the additional grants, the World Bank, the Global Partnership for Education, and other development partners continue to support the Government’s commitment to expand schooling access and equity, improve quality and relevance, and strengthen the institutional capacity of the entire school education system”.
As part of the ongoing SSRP, the grants will support the entire school education sector (grades 1-12), benefiting more than 7 million students and 200,000 teachers in over 28,000 community schools across the country.
Nepal has made impressive gains in the school education sector in terms of access, equity, and completion rates during the past 15 years. More than 9 out of 10 primary-aged children are in school today, compared to fewer than 7 out of 10 in 2000. Gender parity in enrolment at the primary, basic and secondary levels has already been achieved. Similarly, disparities in education access across income groups and ethnic/caste groups have decreased significantly during this period.
“SSRP has been instrumental in realizing the country’s vision of universal access to basic education and these grants will provide additional support towards this objective,” said Mr. Aryal.
The grants will continue to finance both recurrent and development expenditures in support of the ongoing SSRP activities and help consolidate and sustain gains in access and quality, and ensure the inclusiveness of such gains. Part of the grant (US$ 21.8 million) would be conditional on achieving the targets for 5 pre-identified disbursement linked indicators related to improving equity, quality, efficiency, and strengthening of the monitoring system and financial management.
“The 59.3 million grant of the Global Partnership will help increase access to school and improve the quality of learning, especially for children from marginalized groups,” said Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the Global Partnership for Education Secretariat. “We are proud to help Nepal during a difficult time and support the government to strengthen its education system so all Nepali children get a good quality education.”
The World Bank is the supervising agency for the GPE and REACH Trust Fund Grants. SSRP is implemented by the Ministry of Education through a Sector Wide Approach, with financial contributions from the government and nine pooling Development Partners, including the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group. IDA’s contribution to the SSRP pooling currently stands at US$ 230 million.
About GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP for EDUCATION
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) works with 61 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritizing the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in fragile and conflict-affected countries. The Global Partnership mobilizes financing for education and supports developing countries to build effective education systems founded on evidence-based planning and policies. Established in 2002 as the Education for All Fast Track Initiative, the Global Partnership has evolved into an independently governed partnership of governments, civil society, multilateral organizations, private sector and foundations.
The World Bank’s Results in Education for All Children (REACH) program aims to support efforts toward more and better education services, especially to those most excluded, by helping country systems focus more sharply on results. In line with the World Bank Group’s education sector strategy, REACH will support the Bank’s efforts to build evidence on what works for a systems approach to education reforms and investments. REACH funds Country program grants, and Knowledge, Learning and Innovation activities. REACH is currently funded by the Government of Norway through NORAD, the Government of the United States of America through USAID, and by the Government of Germany through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.