Global Partnership for Education boosts support for Tanzania to US$112 million
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has approved a grant totaling US$112 million to build on Tanzania’s successful efforts to get more children in school and learning – especially girls and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. The grant will improve the quality of pre-primary, primary and non-formal education by strengthening teacher training and professional development, distributing more quality teaching and learning materials to underserved areas and improving education planning and management.
GPE is a multi-stakeholder partnership comprising developing countries and donor governments, international organizations, civil society, foundations and the private sector. It receives financial contributions from more than 20 donors, including several active in Tanzania, such as UNICEF, UNESCO, the World Bank, the European Commission, Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Korea, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States and the United Kingdom.
Sweden is the grant agent for the GPE grant and will support the Government in Tanzania in planning, implementation, timely follow-up and reporting of the program. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and UNICEF are coordinating the partnership respectively in Mainland and Zanzibar.
“We have received this news with a lot of enthusiasm, giving us all the reasons to work even harder for the children of Tanzania. The previous GPE grant, which concluded in June, was instrumental in supporting learning activities in the lower levels of primary education,” said Dr. Leonard Akwilapo, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.
“In this new phase of financing, we will go further to enhance universal access to and participation in quality pre-primary, primary and non-formal education, with particular attention to learners from vulnerable groups.”
“The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania is committed to providing quality education to all Tanzanians. I wish to acknowledge the important contribution of GPE in supporting the government’s efforts in implementing the Education Sector Development Program (ESDP),” added Dr. Akwilapo.
The overall aim of the ESDP is to ensure that the entire education sector and all activities within it are focused on the overarching goal of improving learning outcomes and relevant skills acquisition at all levels of education. The participation of various stakeholders is crucial in realizing these goals.
The GPE-supported program will have two components: A fixed part (40%) with priorities in pre-primary and primary education (with special needs education and non-formal education cross-cutting the two areas), and educational management and planning. The variable part (60%) will serve two purposes: the first is to ensure that the Government of Tanzania focuses on key disbursement linked indicators (DLIs) in the areas of learning, equity, and efficiency, while ensuring that upon successful attainment of these DLIs, the released funds are earmarked for infrastructural development which will directly contribute to equity and learning by increasing access to education.
“Tanzania, a GPE partner since 2013, has in recent years taken bold commitments to make its education system better and accessible to more children, and those commitments are already paying off,” said Alice Albright, GPE’s Chief Executive Officer. “GPE is proud to be part of that journey through financing that helps Tanzania build and sustain a strong educational system aimed at meeting the needs of all its children, especially those from communities that have been historically unrepresented in the nation’s schools.”
“GPE support places the Tanzanian Education Sector Development Plan at the core and facilitates a government-coordinated, inclusive education sector approach, where civil society organizations contribute and international partners can play their role”, said Ulf Källstig, Head of Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Sweden.
A centerpiece of Tanzania’s commitments are its 2016 implementation of a fee-free and compulsory basic education policy and expansion of technical and vocational education and training. Between 2017 and 2018, basic education enrollment has increased by 8.5% and the likelihood that a child entering primary school in 2018 will complete the full cycle of primary and lower secondary doubled from 24 to 48%.
With the move to compulsory basic education, Tanzania’s challenge now is to keep up with the large number of additional students since 2016, as it simultaneously focuses on improving the quality of their learning environment and experiences.
Out of the US$112 million GPE grant, US$54.5 million will be spent as a stand-alone fund, while US$57.5 million will be used under the results-based financing, building on the existing Education Program for Results (EPforR) supported by the U.K. DfID, the World Bank and SIDA. The results-based portion is dependent upon Tanzania’s meeting of targets such as regular disbursements to local schools, increases in the number of girls who transition from primary to secondary school, and higher student retention and reading rates.