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Education | Mar 24, 2004

Big Boost For Educational Sector - WB Offers ¢702bn Support

The educational sector has received a major boost with the provision of ¢702 billion from the World Bank to support the implementation of educational projects at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels.

Under a project dubbed, Educational Sector Projects, which was launched in Accra On Monday 23 March, the Government of Ghana is also required to provide a counterpart funding of ¢90billion to bring the total amount needed for the project to ¢792billion.

The project will also promote equitable access and efficient delivery of quality services in pre-tertiary education as well as foster innovation, relevance, quality and efficiency in tertiary education.

Activity to be carried out under the project to ensure the judicious utilization of the funds is a review of mandates, roles and functions of the sector ministry, the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the district assemblies, with respect to education. It will also require the view of he decentralization plans in the education sector.

Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, said the project would be driven by three main components, namely capacity building and management, pilot programmatic scheme and the development and innovation in tertiary education. He said Ghana's educational system had been characterized by several challenges such as low universal primary education, widespread inefficiency and inequity. The education minister said that sate of affairs was further compounded at the tertiary level where the quality and relevance of its curricular were considered to be inadequate a shortage of qualified staff coupled with a rapid expansion in student enrolment.

He expressed gratitude to the World Bank for the support and indicated that all the necessary work needed to ensure the successful implementation of the project would be done.

Dr. Nii-Noi Ashong, a deputy minister of Finance and Economic Planning, charged the implementers to ensure that the project was executed efficiently on time and in accordance with the agreed work plan and guidelines spelt out in the operations manual. He said the Government of Ghana is at the moment paying commitment fees on the outstanding balances in the credit account for most of the ongoing projects as a result of the delays in draw down which are brought by project delay.

The deputy minister could not, however, immediately tell how much commitment fees Ghana was bound to day. He cautioned that the delays in project implementation would not be tolerated.

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