The World Bank Board of Directors has approved an education programme, supported by a US$61.5-million grant from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), for the Sudan Basic Education Support Project (BESP).
This constitutes the largest education financing project in Sudan, the Bank said in a news dispatch on Wednesday.
The project will enable Sudan to sustain and improve basic education for children, with significant support to teachers.
It will strengthen schools, community and government capacities to formulate policies and monitor progress at system level.
The project will also contribute to Sudan’s progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
“This programme comes in an opportune time because we are in the middle of a very difficult economic situation,” said Mohamed Alamin Altoum, Minister of Education of Sudan.
“The Project will certainly take us a good way towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in Education (SDG4).”
The SDG4 looks at good quality education, and free and equitable education.
The funding will support efforts to improve student enrollment, retention, and reading proficiency in the early grades of primary education, covering all public schools.
It will give the support while prioritising investment in disadvantaged areas.
The World Bank said public school grants will be provided to disadvantaged schools to reduce education costs borne by parents, lowering the risk of dropping out, especially for girls.
The funding will also support volunteer teachers who are normally paid from community contributions, which are likely to decrease due to the economic crisis compounded by the impact of coronavirus.
“The World Bank is well positioned to support this project with focus on results-based financing given its considerable understanding and experience in engaging in education sector in Sudan,” said Milena Petrova Stefanova, World Bank Country Manager for Sudan.
To improve children’s learning environments, the funding will help purchase basic learning materials and equipment.
An estimated six million students will be provided textbooks, reading materials and reading support programmes.
Approximately 30,000 girls will benefit from improvements to the learning environment, including rehabilitation and construction of sanitation facilities, the Bank said.