WASHINGTON, July 15, 2020 – The World Bank Board of Executive Directors approved an International Development Association (IDA)* credit in the amount of $125 million to increase equitable access to quality general secondary education and to strengthen skills development programs, particularly for girls, in Cameroon.
“This project is the first-generation secondary education and skills development project in Cameroon, with a special focus on girls. Cameroon has made good progress in expanding primary education, but it still faces challenges in terms of providing quality education and market-relevant training, particularly at the post-primary level,” says Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Cameroon. “The objective is to increase equitable access to schools with an improved learning environment, as well as facilitate access to general education for girls in disadvantaged areas, and to increase access to market-relevant skills development programs which will allow students to have an easier transition to labor markets and improve their employability.”
The Secondary Education and Skills Development (SESD) Project is aligned with the Government’s Education Sector Strategy 2021-2030, currently under preparation, that identifies priority areas of focus for education system at large including general secondary education and skills development sub-sectors. It will help increase equitable access to quality general secondary education. Specifically, it will help enroll 300,000 students in targeted general secondary schools that comply with standards critical for learning environment with a specific focus on girls in disadvantaged areas. The project will also provide support to about 10,000 beneficiaries – trainees, apprentices, informal sector workers – to acquire market-relevant skills and improve employability and labor market outcomes. It will also facilitate participation of industry and private sector in the design and delivery of training programs.
“Many of the challenges faced by the secondary education and skills development sub-sectors are deepened by the COVID-19 crisis,” says Yevgeniya Savchenko, Senior Economist and Task Team Leader. “This project offers an opportunity to build a more efficient, inclusive and resilient education system.”
* 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 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.