Washington — Approved on February 23, 2020, by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors, a $80 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* with 50% grant and 50% credit, will support Mali's education system. In addition to IDA financing, the project will benefit from three grants from the Global Partnership for Education: $44.78 million from Education Sector Program Implementation Grant, $9.14 million from Regular Accelerated Funding, and $6.78 million from COVID-19 Accelerated Funding.
The Mali Improving Education Quality and Results for All (MIQRA) Project will increase learning outcomes in early primary education in targeted areas of Mali. It will help promote girls' access to lower and upper secondary education in underserved areas, and enhance the governance of the education system.
MIQRA is an important contributor to the achievement of the Government's Ten-year Education Sector Development Program Second-Generation for 2019-2028 (Programme décennal de développement de l'éducation deuxième génération, PRODEC II).
The project will directly benefit over 4 million individuals, including students attending targeted beneficiary schools and teachers in preprimary, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools nationwide and students attending targeted schools.
"This project is part of the World Bank's long-term commitment to advance education especially for girls in Mali, and it is very timely. It will particularly support girls' access to lower and upper secondary education by incentivizing girls to attend and stay in school. Increasing the participation of girls in quality education will reduce disparities by empowering them", said Soukeyna Kane, World Bank Country Director for Mali."
In a context of high levels of poverty, insecurity, and demographic growth, Mali has made progress in improving access to education overall. Despite these encouraging results and the constant efforts by the Government, huge challenges persist with regards to the quality of education delivery, equity and the overall governance of the education sector leading to a learning crisis. Several studies have shown that some of Mali's education indicators remain among the lowest in the sub-region with lack of access to equitable basic and secondary education, low quality of education and weak governance of the sector.
Moreover, the impact of the political and security crisis coupled with the current COVID-19 pandemic which had resulted in the nationwide closure of schools, continues to reverberate today, compromising access to education for thousands of school-age children. In the north and the central part of the country in particular, massive population displacements and school closures continue to be a key challenge in Mali.
"The government, through the MIQRA project, has taken an important step to address the learning crisis through improving quality, building stronger pathways for girls' education, and strengthening the governance and resilience of the education system. This in turn will serve the needs of young Malians as they confront the multiple crises that the society is facing. Perhaps most notably, the project will help address existing inequalities by offering rural children and youth greater opportunities to attend school and to learn", said Meskerem Mulatu, Education Practice Manager, West Africa.