15 December 2012

Gambia: Two Day Joint Donor Review On Education Sector Commences

A two-day joint donor review supervision mission for the education sector started at the Atlantic hotel yesterday Thursday 13 December 2012. The event will include among other things consultation and dialogue on sector policy issue, sector plans, field trip/school visit, and technical and vocational training education needs, macro- economic trends, education budget and governance issues.

The main objective is to ensure that the entire education plans are successfully implemented but also within the framework of the Paris Declaration and the Accra agenda for commitments on aid effectiveness, especially with regard to national ownership, use of country systems and alignment with national development agenda and priorities, and improved coordination, managing for results and mutual accountability for better results for the education sector.

The Minister for Basic and Secondary Education Madam Fatou Lamin Faye, speaking at the opening ceremony said education sector is a very important sector even though they have made numerous achievements; that they still need more effort and commitment to be able to prepare and overcome the future constraints and to improve both standard, relevance and access.

She also noted that the field visit will also be part of the event to be able to see schools and spot out some of the problems they are having such as lack of Gambian teachers in the field. She said this program will also help them to better up the sector.

Madam Faye pointed out the importance of this donor review. She said it will enable them to review the education policy and to see where needed to adjust to meet the education target before vision 2020.

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education Mr. Babucarr Boye on his opening remarks as the chairperson of the event said, the donor review has become part of the education calendar, that the sector meets every 6 months to look at their activities before the mission. He commended the donors for being supportive to one of the most important sectors of the country. He said the aim of the sector is to develop human and also deal with how the strategies and policy design be fully implemented.

The leading country donor, World Food Programme representative said in her short opening remarks that investing in education is like investing in everything in life. She commended the ministry of basic and secondary education for the effective manner the sector has commit itself to ensuring that the aim of the sector is achieved. She thanks them and wishes them a successful meeting during the reviews.

The task team leader Ms Nathalie Lahine said the joint donor review is a very important event in the sector. She said this will help them to develop and review the preview polices. She said they have all the confidence that the Gambia will and has been responding positively to their policy. Mr. Nathalie said their intervention in the sector has really made impact and she commended both ministry of basic and secondary education for their continuous commitment.

The representative of the minister of finance and economic affairs, Dr. Pa Sey said this education review will help their ministry to ascertain the result. He said if they cannot obtain the results you cannot know where to go.

He said education is a key parameter in terms of growth; noting that the quality and the level of education dictates the development of a nation. He further said his ministry gives high regard to education sector as a benchmark. He said education sector in their ministry is a priority and for the donor he said spending in Education is spending in a noble cause. He assured them that their ministry is very much committed to attaining the demand of the education sector, adding that without quality education they (ministry of finance) cannot attain the 10% growth they are targeting before 2013. he finally thanks the donors and ministry of basic and secondary education for their endeavor to see the improvement of the sector.

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