India is among the few countries that will benefit following an agreement between the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Qatar-based Education Above All (EAA) Foundation to carry out 100 million dollars in joint projects to put out-of-school and at-risk children into quality primary education.
Signing the five-year agreement were Director General of ADB’s Strategy, Policy and Partnerships Department Tomoyuki Kimura and Foundation Chief Executive Officer Fahad al Sulaiti at a special side event to the United Nations High Level Political Forum 2020.
“The two organisations will implement projects in up to 10 countries to ensure that at least 3.2 lakh out-of-school children, including refugees and internally displaced children, realise their right to quality primary education,” said Kimura.
Even before the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease pandemic, there was a lack of financial resources to meet educational needs. In the wake of COVID-19, educational requirements are now competing with other critical needs for funds.
The side event brings together experts from around the world to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on education and reflect how they can collaborate, exchange critical information, mitigate the impact of the pandemic, and address the financial requirements to build resilience in the education system to future shocks.
The event was organised by EAA, ADB, the State of Qatar, Qatar Fund for Development and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development.
Many countries in the Asia and Pacific Region have substantially improved access to schooling but student learning achievements have lagged behind. Attending school does not guarantee to learn.
When children do not learn at the desired pace, they will be at a high risk of dropping out and those that continue may leave school without adequate learning.
“It is not only important to bring school-age children particularly from disadvantaged groups to school, but it is also equally important to ensure that all of them complete school education with foundational skills,” said Brajesh Panth, Chief of ADB’s Education Sector Group.
The 10 countries initially selected for projects are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Sri Lanka.
The two organisations will make available financing options for specific projects on the basis of joint co-financing administered by ADB or parallel co-financing where they will separately administer their funds in accordance with each own policies and procedures.