The World Bank offers zero or low interest credits, low interest loans and grants to developing countries to support investments in areas such as education, health, public administration , infrastructure, financial and private sector development, agriculture and the environment. and natural resource management.
Thus, it is within its purview to commit to doubling its funding for education in Africa to $6.2 billion by 2025 to provide every child with the opportunity to access quality education.
The bank currently dedicates $3.1 billion of its portfolio to financing education in Africa.
The mantra that “education is the key to development” has become commonplace, but it cannot be ignored as studies have shown it to be a powerful agent of change as it helps improve health and livelihoods, contributes to social stability and stimulates long-term economic growth.
The argument is that even if this position is true, it takes quality education, not substandard, to achieve such goals.
It therefore follows that the support of the World Bank is intended for the provision of quality education.
The bank says the funds it offers will be used to support primary, secondary and higher education.
In other words, the support goes to all levels of education in each country and the objective is to promote the production of human capital.
Now the question is: since education involves more than teaching and learning, what particular areas of education does the World Bank support?
The World Bank is said to have adopted a new education strategy for Africa that focuses on improving teaching and learning, removing barriers that hinder access to quality education, reducing learning poverty and expanding access to relevant jobs and skills training.
The targeted targets are global, because by taking them one after the other, one can identify a plethora of areas that fall under each target.
It should be noted that while the areas may be the same in each African country, the associated issues may differ.
That is, there are country-specific issues that need to be addressed with homegrown solutions, albeit guided by World Bank strategy.
It is interesting to note, for example, that Ghana is seventh among the 10 countries in Africa that have the best education systems.
Each of the countries, namely Seychelles, South Africa, Mauritius, Tunisia, Kenya, Algeria, Ghana, Egypt, Namibia and Libya, in that order, has strengths that give them their ranking just as they have weaknesses.
As due to lack of space such details cannot be provided, the Ghanaian Times would like to clarify that factors include access or registration; infrastructure such as school buildings with ICT centres, sanitary facilities, infirmaries and playgrounds; teacher-student ratio; Contents; teaching aids, including books and science laboratory; quality of supervision; policies guiding education delivery; and other similar things that can be looked at from the state side.
Other factors relate to the community, the parents and the learners themselves, including parents’ financial situation to support the child, community support, and student attendance and engagement. to learn.
Whatever the reason why Ghana has such a high ranking in Africa, as it is currently ranked 104th in the global education system by edulearnweb.com, the Ghanaian Times knows that there are challenges the country needs to address. to improve his ranking and also be counted among the best in the world.
Insufficient or poor infrastructure, especially in the hinterland; the lack of teachers in some schools; poor teaching; poor supervision; the poverty of some parents which pushes them to deny their children access to all levels of education; and water and sanitation problems, especially at the basic level and the inability of some basic school products to read or write, which are commonplace in the country, for example, undermine quality education that the World Bank envisions for each African country.
The Ghanaian Times hopes that the country will leverage the support of the World Bank to address the challenges of quality education and fully leverage education as a key to development.