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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Government and European Union launch €29 Million education sector programme to promote better access for children to high quality learning in Sierra Leone

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Government and European Union launch €29 Million education sector programme to promote better access for children to high quality learning in Sierra Leone

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It sets out the management modalities for the programme permitting the implementation of the recently signed financing agreement.

His Excellency President Koroma announced that “Today marks yet another important milestone in the development cooperation between the government and people of Sierra Leone and the people of the European Union as we are gathered here to launch the EU Support Programme to the education sector in Sierra Leone under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF). I am very delighted to note that the European Union, which is Sierra Leone’s most steadfast development partner, is investing EUR 29 million in the education sector for the first time in our development cooperation.”

The Minister of Education Science and Technology, Dr Minkailu Bah, commented:

“This is the first time in over a decade that the EU is providing direct and major support to the education sector. It is much appreciated. The support will allow us to deliver on several important strategic objectives detailed in our Education Sector Plan (ESP) – Learning to Succeed and the education section of the Agenda For Prosperity. The support also comes at just the right time as we transition from ‘recovery’ back to ‘development’.”

The Head of the European Union Delegation to Sierra Leone, Peter Versteeg, added:

“There remain many challenges to overcome to provide all children and young people in this country with the education and skills they need to live their lives productively, to find jobs that provide for their future and to be informed and responsible citizens. The EU stands ready to join forces with the Government to take on these challenges.”

The EU programme to support the education sector in Sierra Leone is financed under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and aims at providing children with equitable access to high quality learning in Sierra Leone, in line with national education policies and targets.

Over the coming years, the EU will work in partnership with the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, the Teacher Service Commission, decentralised authorities and Teacher Training Colleges in selected Districts in pursuit of the following objectives:

        strengthening the management of the education system to improve equity and quality

        improving primary school teaching and learning

        improving management and delivery of technical and vocational education

        improving equitable access to secondary education

Education is one of the key sectors of concentration for EU cooperation with Sierra Leone, in addition to governance & civil society, agriculture & food security, as well as infrastructure. Overall funding under the partnership between the EU and the Government of Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2020 amounts to a total of €376 million. This comes in addition to opportunities for regional economic integration under the EU regional programme for West Africa, which will bring on stream some €1.15 billion for the region.

At country level, the support to education under the 11th EDF complements EU education projects with CSOs and local authorities in Sierra Leone. Moreover, the Erasmus Mundus programme and the Intra-Africa Academic Mobility Scheme of the EU-Africa Partnership support student mobility across borders.

The EU is one of the main development partners of the Government of Sierra Leone and, together with its Member States, the world’s leading aid donor, providing more than half of the total official development assistance.

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