INTERNATIONAL – Ethiopia has received a $14.85 million grant (Aprox R246m) from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to boost its response to disruptions in education caused by Covid-19, the World Bank has said.
The money will go towards the Ethiopia Covid-19 Education Response Project which aims to ensure students continue learning even while schools are closed, as well as to support the safe reopening of the institutions and strengthen the resilience of the education system, the World Bank said in a statement dated Thursday.
The Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting closures have left 26 million Ethiopian students out of school, which could have long-term impacts on their health, development and future earning potential.
According to the World Bank, temporary school closures may also lead some children from vulnerable households, especially girls and students in rural areas, to permanently drop out of school.
To support the safe and effective reopening of schools, the GPE-supported project will supply thousands of schools with sanitation and safety materials, conduct an extensive communication campaign to inform parents and students about available resources and re-opening procedures and establish an emergency helpdesk to report Covid-19 incidents.
It will also support distance learning during school closures and provide accelerated activities to enable students to catch up after schools reopen.
“This project will support the government’s effort to provide distance learning using digital and broadcasting platforms including radio and TV, as well as printed materials to help school children, particularly the vulnerable children and pastoralist girls from the poorest households, to continue to learn while schools are closed,” World Bank country director for Ethiopia Ousmane Dione said.
GPE chief executive officer Alice Albright said Ethiopia had been a partner since 2004 and had made great strides in making its education system better and accessible to more children.
“These commitments are paying off, but even brief interruptions in education can have devastating consequences on children’s learning and wellbeing,” Albright added.
“These emergency funds from GPE will help Ethiopia ensure that its hard-won gains are preserved, and that no child’s education is left behind because of Covid-19.”
The project will be implemented over the next 18 months and will complement and leverage other ongoing education projects supported by the World Bank.
The GPE is a shared commitment to end the world’s learning crisis and supports nearly 70 countries to transform their education systems.