Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and its partners have convened for a three-day inception retreat to commence the implementation of the $40 million Global Partnership for Education (GPE) grant. The retreat, held from October 10th to 12th, 2023, at The Place Resort Tokeh, carries the theme “Accelerating Government’s Commitment to Education with a Focus on Delivering Foundational Learning for All Children.”
The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Board approved a $40 million grant for Sierra Leone during their July meeting. This grant includes a $22.5 million System Transformation Grant, a $15 million Multiplier Grant, and a $2.5 million System Capacity Grant.
These grants have been awarded based on an application following the development of Sierra Leone’s partnership compact, “Foundations of Learning for All.” The primary objective is to ensure that all students acquire foundational skills and close learning gaps for girls and other marginalized groups. This aligns with Sierra Leone’s Education Sector Plan (ESP), “Transforming Learning for All,” and the nation’s Zero-Learning Poverty Plan, along with international commitments to reduce learning poverty by 2030.
Emmanuel Allie, the National GPE Coordinator and Director for International Partnerships and Financing at MBSSE, described the Project Implementation Roll-Out Workshop as a dynamic three-day event designed to empower participants in steering complex projects towards successful completion. Its purpose is to clarify stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities and foster a collective commitment to achieving the objectives outlined in the GPE Partnership Compact and the Education Sector Plan 2022-2026.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) serves as the Grant Agent for the program and will receive the funds on behalf of the government.
Madam Liv Elin Indreiten, Deputy Representative of Program at UNICEF, expressed the dedication and commitment of Sierra Leone’s Government, in collaboration with UNICEF and development partners, to expand access and improve the quality of foundational learning outcomes for all children in the country.
Conrad Sackey, the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education emphasized the extraordinary nature of this funding, urging all stakeholders to think creatively and work outside the box to improve the prospects of Sierra Leone’s youth.
The workshop spans three days, covering essential aspects of project implementation, management, and coordination, with each day dedicated to specific themes.
Foundational learning encompasses fundamental skills like basic literacy, numeracy, civic education, digital awareness, and socio-emotional skills, forming the basis for higher-order abilities. The transformation efforts will focus on innovative teaching solutions and enhancements in pre-primary and the initial four years of primary education, supported by data analysis and governance reforms. AMK/13/10/2023