By Abigail Chaponda in London, United Kingdom
World Bank Global Director Education, Jaime Saavedra, has reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to continue supporting Zambia’s general education system.
Mr. Saavedra made the remarksduring a meeting held with Zambia’s General Education Minister David Mabumba, on the sidelines of the Education World Forum 2020 Global Summit for Education Ministers currently taking place in London, under the theme: One Generation: “What does it take to transform education”.
Mr. Saavedra also said the World Bank is in the process of approving additional funding forenhancing and improving the quality of education in Zambia.
“There is progress on the additional funding for Zambia. We will continue giving support to Zambia, this is an exciting agenda, we are there to support you and your team, there is hope that things will move fast in your country,” he said.
Zambia is currently implementing a credit facility of $60 million from the World Bank to improve the country’s general education system, with a focus on teaching and learning quality in mathematics and science under the Zambia Education Enhancement Project (ZEEP) that is providing teacher training, textbooks, and learning materials in targeted primary and secondary schools. The project also includes construction of 82 schools to increase equitable access to secondary education, especially in rural areas.
And World Bank Education Manager East and Southern Africa,Safaa El-Kogali has congratulated the Zambian Government for the commitment and leadership it is providing in the education sector and in the implementation of World Bank projects.
Ms. El-Kogali said, the World Bank is ready to support Zambia’s education sector because the country has demonstrated leadership in management of the World Bank projects.
“The way the World Bank works is that you need to prove that you are in good standing. You are in good standing and it is important to continue to maintain that. I really want to congratulate you on this, Zambia has shown leadership and I really want to commend you, Honorable Minister,” she said.
And Minister of General Education Hon. David Mabumba said the Zambian Government was grateful for the support that the World Bank was giving to help improve the education system.
He saidhis Ministry is focusing on transforming and reforming the education system and said with the World Bank’s support, the Ministry will achieve its objectives.
“When you look at everything we are doing in the Ministry, it conforms with what is being discussed here at the conference, transformation, reformation and restoration. In Zambia, it is high time that we begin a journey of transforming, reforming and resorting the education sector, your (World Bank) support is
coming as part of the ZEEP is going to allow the Ministry to transform itself. ZEEP is an important project, the difference that it is going to have and the impact that it is going to bring on the education system is in the country is going to be so huge. Constructing 82 secondary school within a short period of time is not small investment,” he said.
The Minister assured the World Bank that the Ministry of Education will continue to provide leadership and assured that the funding will be used for the intended purpose.
“On behalf of Zambia as a country and the President, we want to assure you that we will provide leadership, we will ensure that the money goes for the intended purpose.The money that you bringing to Zambia is money that is coming from other countries and therefore, we will provide leadership to ensure that we continue engaging in good faith and where we go wrong, please do don’t hesitate to bring any short comings to our attention so that as partners, we can resolve those issues collectively,” he said.