Global Partnership for Education Grants US$82.6 Million for Quality Education for Children in Yemen
SANA’A, 25 May 2013 – The Government of Yemen and UNICEF are pleased to announce the approval of US$82.6 million in grant by the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). The grant will be implemented by the Ministry of Education with UNICEF as the supervising entity and the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as the coordinating entity. This grant is geared towards providing critical funding and momentum towards reaching the huge number of children out of school, an estimated one million, and improving the quality of education for all children, especially girls.
About US$10 million of the total grant will address improved schooling for an estimated 65,000 boys and girls, support training of 3,800 male and female teachers and rehabilitation of 142 schools in five conflict affected governorates.
The GPE Board Chair, Carol Bellamy said, "Educating children--especially girls--increases their incomes, improves their health and nutrition, and it literally saves lives. The investments we make in educating children will pay dividends for generations to come". The GPE funds for Yemen will support the implementation of the Education Sector plan for the Ministry of Education. This includes improving access, quality and institutional capacity building of the Ministry of Education.
While Yemen has made progress in primary school net enrolment, (in 2010/2011 at 84.80 per cent (91.73 per cent male, 77.54 per cent female), it remains insufficient to realize either the MDG or ‘Education for All’ targets. Rural girls lag behind due to traditional attitudes towards girls’ education and a severe lack of quality schooling; poverty; insecurity; deteriorated school infrastructure; poorly trained and/or unmotivated teachers and a limited number of female teachers. Currently there are 176,693 teachers in the system (a 19 per cent increase since 2001/2002) however, women represent only 25 per cent of teachers in general and only 9 per cent in rural areas. This further influences the imbalance. Awareness of the importance of education within communities, especially those living in remote and hard to reach areas is virtually non-existent. In addition, there is a growing community of marginalized children that tend to be at higher risk of exclusion from the educational system. Enrolment and retention rates of marginalized children are significantly lower than the national average. This situation has been further compounded by the conflict of 2012/2013 and ongoing civil disobedience in the south.
"This support could not have come at a more critical time for this country’ says UNICEF Representative in Yemen, Julien Harneis, ‘the ongoing transitional process including the National Dialogue provides a unique opportunity to position the education of children, especially in rural and hard to reach areas as a key priority for the prosperity and posterity of the nation. UNICEF and other development partners stand ready to support this laudable effort by the Government of Yemen”, Harneis emphasized.
Yemen is amongst 12 developing countries approved for a total of US$439 million in grants by the Global Partnership for Education to improve the quality of education and generate measurable results in learning for children– the other countries being Benin, Burkina Faso, Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritania, Senegal, Somalia, Tajikistan, Tanzania (Zanzibar), Zambia and Zimbabwe.
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