GPE Approves a US$20.6 million Grant to Strengthen Cambodia’s Education System

The Global Partnership for Education (GPE)'s Board of Directors approved yesterday a grant of US$20.6 million in support of Cambodia's efforts to improve the quality of primary education.

According to a GPE's news release, the grant will particularly benefit children from disadvantaged groups, and will foster effective teaching, leadership and management skills of education staff, including teachers, school principals, as well as local and national education service providers.

This is the third consecutive GPE grant for Cambodia. It will bring together complementary efforts from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS), UNESCO and UNICEF, as well as other education development partners including the European Union, Sweden, and USAID.

H.E. Hang Chuon Naron, Minister of MoEYs, welcomed the renewed partnership, saying children from disadvantaged groups would be better placed to learn and develop.

The Global Partnership for Education has been an indispensable contributor to Cambodia's education sector since 2006, he said. This new, additional GPE support will allow us to broaden and deepen our pool of qualified teachers, giving more children from the most disadvantaged groups the conditions they need to learn and prosper.

The results of the new GPE programme will be achieved through two distinct components: a 'fixed' component of US$14.4 million, the Strengthening Teacher Education Programme in Cambodia (STEPCam), which will target early grade teachers of primary education and teacher trainers at provincial teacher training centres; and a 'variable' component of US$6.2 million that is linked to the achievement of specific results to improve education equity, efficiency and learning outcomes.

Cambodia, a GPE partner since 2006, has demonstrated how continuous commitment to education makes a country stronger and more equitable for more children, said Ms. Alice Albright, Chief Executive Officer of the GPE. Through this third consecutive grant, GPE will help accelerate the country's remarkable record of educational progress.

STEPCam, to be delivered in partnership between MoEYS and UNESCO, supports the Ministry of Education's Teacher Policy Action Plan and focuses on continuous professional development for early grade teachers. The programme will assist MoEYS in developing and operationalising a sustainable system to strengthen teacher skills, in line with the teacher career development pathway also to be developed as part of Teacher Policy Action Plan.

Ms. Anne Lemaistre, UNESCO Representative in Cambodia said: Teacher training is crucial for quality education. GPE support on capacity development to teachers will make significant contributions to improving quality of education as per Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4).

The results-based component will be delivered in partnership between MoEYS and UNICEF, through the existing Capacity Development Partnership Fund, a multi-partner fund helping to strengthen capacities in policy development, planning, financing, personnel, inclusive education and gender equitable leadership, ultimately leading to more equitable, inclusive and quality education services for all children in Cambodia.

UNESCO is GPE's grant agent in Cambodia for the teacher education component of the grant, while UNICEF is the grant agent for the variable component. In collaboration with other development partners, both agents will support MoEYS to implement the programme.

GPE is an international organisation workinig with more than 60 developing countries to ensure that every child receives a quality basic education, prioritising the poorest, the most vulnerable and those living in countries affected by fragility and conflict. GPE mobilises financing to improve learning and equity through building stronger education systems. As the only global organisation focused exclusively on improving education, GPE brings together developing country and donor country governments, multilateral development and humanitarian agencies, and organisations from the private sector, philanthropy, civil society and the teaching profession.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press

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