Osei Yaw Adutwum, the Education Minister
The World Bank has downgraded Ghana in the implementation of the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP).
This follows a report released after a technical discussion mission of a World Bank team at their second visit to inspect the implementation of the various educational interventions.
Significantly, GALOP is funded by the Workd Bank.
While the team rated Ghana satisfactory in six out of the 12 intervention areas during its first visit in 2021, the second visit, which took place in December 2021, could only rate four intervention areas satisfactory.
The interventions rated satisfactory during the second visit are the Strengthening Teaching and Learning through Support and Resources for Teachers: Strengthening Accountability Systems of Learning: and Supporting the COVID-19 Coordinated Education Response for Ghana for Continued Learning, Recovery and Resilience in Basic Education.
Areas the team was not fully satisfied included Implementation Progress: Strength School Support, Management and Resourcing: Technical Assistance, Institutional Strengthening, Monitoring and Research:
The rest are Project Management: Monitoring and Evaluation: Procurement: Financial Management and Safeguards. They were all rated moderately satisfactory.
GALOP seeks to improve the quality of education in low performing basic education schools and strengthen education sector equity and accountability in Ghana.
It is financed by the World Bank’s International Development Agency (IDA) with $150 million credit and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) with $23.9 million grant.
The project is expected to extend from October 2019 to December 2024 over a period of five years.
As of January 2022, a total of $52.76 million out of the $218.70 million has so far been disbursed into the various educational intervention activities.
The GALOP Additional Financing totaling $44.8 million made up of GPE COVID-19 grant of $14.8, the GPRBA TF grant of $25.5 million and the GoG contribution of $4.5 million was expected to have ended on November 30, 2021.
Unfortunately, the report has it that disbursement so far under the Additional Financing stood at $13.6 million as of January 2022.
It, however, acknowledged the “notable progress made on project activities since the June 2021 mission.
“This includes successful completion of activities under the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) COVID-19 Accelerated Financing grant on November 30, 2021, with a disbursement rate of 92 per cent and the achievement of four out of five performance-based condition (PBCs) while final PBC is pending endorsement by the local education group (LEG),” it said.
On the overall project implementation progress, the report said, there had been some notable progress on the selected project activities since the last mission in June 2021.
It said the disbursement of $39.16 million in the IDA credit under the parent GALOP and $13.6 million under the GPE COVID-19 Accelerated Financing Grant as of February 1, 2022 were good pointers.
“However, the project’s overall implementation progress remains moderately satisfactory based on the project implementation of selected activities has been slow.
“There has been no disbursement from two funding sources namely the GPE Grant for the GALOP parent project (TF0846) and the GPRBA for GEOF (TFB3026); and also, performance rating of project management, monitoring and evaluation, procurement, financial management and safeguards performance remain moderately satisfactory.
“The mission reiterated the importance of developing and following up on the budgeted implementation plan for each activity area under the GALOP,” the report said.
On the GALOP GPE COVID-19 project closing, the report said the implementation of activities under the GALOP GPE COVID-19 Accelerated Financing were successfully completed and the grant was closed as scheduled on November 30, 2021.
It said four out of five performance-based conditions (PBC) were achieved, confirmed and disbursed in an amount of $13.6 million, adding, “the remaining PBC was achieved and verified by the Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation (PBME) division of the Ministry of Education.”
Subsequently, the report said the MoE had made presentations on the achievements of PBC 7.2b to the Local Education Group (LEG) for their endorsement at a meeting of MoE/GES and the Development Partners (DPs) on December 1, 2021, and at the Sector Working Group (SWG) meeting on December 17, 2021.
“The MoE is awaiting the written endorsement communication and comments from DP Lead (UNICEF),” it added.