The World Bank’s Board of Directors has recently approved a $150 million fund for the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP). The fund is aimed at improving the quality of education for more than two million children in low performing basic education schools.
“The project focuses on underserved areas and on improving the quality of education for increased human capital and supports the World Bank’s twin goals of ending poverty and promoting shared prosperity,” said Pierre Laporte, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana.
He added that the operation directly aligns with both the Ghanian Government’s Strategy and the World Bank’s Africa Strategy of improving inclusive and equitable access to quality education at all levels.
Over the years, several challenges have continued to impede the country’s education system. According to research by Charles Aheto Tsegah, former Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, the education system is faced with major challenges in terms of access and participation. Some of the areas listed in the research include low enrolment of girls; low quality in terms of poor pupil learning achievement; inadequate supply of trained and qualified teachers, resulting in extremes of class size; and lack of resources for teaching and learning.
The Ghanian educational system is divided into parts: Basic Education, Secondary Education and Tertiary Education. Basic education in Ghana is free and the curriculum is compulsory. In spite of this, about 623,500 children of primary school age are still not enrolled in primary school. One out of four children aged 4 -5 years are not in pre-school, with about 20 percent of children living with disabilities are not enrolled.
GALOP hopes to address some of the pressing challenges within the education sector. The project will facilitate support for teaching and learning through modern in-service teacher training; provide learning materials for students; strengthen School-level support and resources; improve community engagement; Improve teaching and learning assessments and accountability. In the end, it will enhance education outcomes to build Ghana’s human capital.
The project will focus on using education to boost labour productivity and Ghana’s human capital as recommended by the findings of Ghana’s Systematic Country Diagnostic. Its implementation is expected to lead to an improvement in learning outcomes at the Basic Level.
While the project has a national outlook, learning interventions will target schools identified with major challenges in learning outcomes and resources. Key expected outcomes include improved teaching practices in targeted schools (including targeted instruction, structured pedagogy and continuous coaching and mentoring support); decreased absenteeism among teachers; effective allocation of teachers across schools; and increased utilization of an accountability dashboard to improve learning.
“The GALOP is estimated to benefit 2.3 million children, including 1.2 million girls from direct interventions, as well as over 70,000 teachers, headteachers, circuit supervisors, and national, regional and district education officers,” said Halil Dundar, World Bank Education Practice Manager for West and Southern Africa.
This intervention from the World Bank will not only boost the educational sector but also improve the quality of the country’s human capital, decrease gender bias and motivate both teachers and students to participate in learning processes.
By Ishioma Eni