European Union External Action

EU supports Free Education Project in Sierra Leone

06/10/2020 - 21:30
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The EU is giving an important boost to the development of Sierra Leone’s education sector by funding the Free Education Project, which was launched on 5 October on the occasion of World Teachers Day.


With grant funds pooled from the World Bank, the EU, Ireland and UKAID, this 5 year project will support nation-wide primary and secondary education. Among others, it will strengthen the teaching workforce competence, finance the construction of about 500 furnished classrooms to meet the immediate infrastructure needs in basic education and will provide community-managed grants to primary schools for improved school performance and accountability.

By joining hands, we can do more and better”, EU Ambassador Tom Vens said at the launch event, attended by both the President and Vice President of Sierra Leone. “The EU has been and will remain at the forefront of supporting education worldwide. Being able to attend school is a basic right for every girl and boy. When children enjoy quality education, they become voices in the establishment of democratic societies that respect human rights”.

Since the Government launched its landmark Free Quality School Education Program in 2018, Sierra Leone has made significant gains in school enrolment, but education outcomes and skills acquisition are still among the lowest in Africa. The education sector also faces deep access inequalities, weak sector governance and inefficient public spending and management. The Free Education Project will help address these challenges as well as support the Government of Sierra Leone in their efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the education sector.

Last year, the EU and Sierra Leone signed a "Jobs & Growth" programme aimed at improving the investment climate and boosting job creation through improved education and job-oriented training. By contributing to the Free Education Project, the EU is fully addressing the investment-education-employment challenge in Sierra Leone.

Link to the PDF icon press release.

Link to the PDF icon EU Statement

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