World Bank, Others threaten legal action
The World Bank office in Accra, has threatened to deal with the Akufo-Addo government, following its failure to submit an audit report on funds it gave the country as part of the Ghana Accountability for Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP), which is being rolled out under the Ministry of Education.
GALOP, is a five-year project with the objective to improve the quality of education in low-performing basic education schools and strengthen education sector equity and accountability in Ghana.
The project targets the 10,000 lowest-performing Basic Schools – Kindergarten, Primary and Junior High Schools -, and all special schools with direct interventions.
The total project amount is US$218.7 million. It is jointly funded by the World Bank, Department for International Development (DFID) and the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
But the country, according to the World Bank, has flouted a strict component of the Financing Agreement dated, January 17, 2020, between the International Development Association and the Republic of Ghana.
The threat to resort to “legal remedies” from the World Bank, was served on the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, in a letter dated October 21, 2022.
The component, according to the agreement, is that “the recipient is required to furnish the audited financial statements covering the period of one fiscal year of the Recipient no later than six (6) months after the end of such period”.
The letter, which was signed by one Pierre Laporte, the Country Director of World Bank for Ghana, said that the International Development Association has noted “that as of today, October 18, 2022, the Association has not received the audited financial statements for the year ending December 2021 in compliance with the General Conditions”.
It added that “the Association, is concerned that it is almost ten (10) months after the year ended and an independent audit report on the use of the funds has still not been furnished to the Association”.
It warned that “Given that the audited financial statement are now four (4) months overdue, and in line with the Audit Compliance Guidance, we write to inform you that unless you come into compliance within the next thirty days from the date of this letter, the Association may have no option than to explore the possibility of exercising the appropriate legal remedies under the Financing Agreement”.
Pierre Laporte’s letter stated “we trust that your personal and immediate attention to this matter will ensure speedy compliance of the audit requirement referred to above”.
Among the components of the project is to Strengthen teaching and learning through support and resources for teachers, teachers capacity building and innovative delivery of in-service training. Sub-component, School-based support and instructional leadership, Provision of teaching and learning materials (TLMs).
Other components are to strengthen school support, management and resourcing, learning grants to support activities focused on learning, strengthening district education management capacity, strengthening SMCs for enhanced citizen engagement.
Component, strengthen accountability systems for learning, development and implementation of an accountability for learning framework, development and implementation of a national assessment strategy.
Policy reforms for efficient education sector human resource management, administrative and leadership practices, technical assistance, institutional strengthening, monitoring, and research and technical assistance for capacity building and institutional strengthening and Monitoring and evaluation, management and operational costs.
The Ministry of Education, has an elaborate literature on the project. It “Data on basic education in Ghana show that access to quality education is inequitable. There are variations in the quality of Basic Schools and a considerable number of children are out of school. Consequently, the Education Strategic Plan (ESP 2018–2030) commits to providing equitable access to quality basic education to all children.
It says “GALOP supports the commitment to equitable access to quality education through targeted interventions at the most disadvantaged schools, benefitting children across the country.”
According to the Education Ministry, “GALOP is a results-based financing project. Disbursement of project funds to the Ministry of Education is contingent on the achievement of pre-determined results.
“In total, about 2,328,750 pupils and 76,000 teachers from the targeted basic schools would directly benefit from the various interventions under the project. In addition, all School Management Committee members in the targeted schools will benefit from management training while the heads of the targeted schools will also benefit from leadership and accountability training.
“About 1,300 staff from 260 districts will benefit directly from the capacity building training. All Circuit Supervisors, the staff of Regional Education Directorates, Ghana Education Service Headquarters, and Regulatory Agencies of the Ministry of Education will benefit from the project’s capacity building initiatives
“Five years. However, the ambition is to identify interventions under the project that are cost-effective in order to scale them up. Many of the systemic interventions and activities under the project will continue long after the five years.
“Project interventions are targeted at 10,000 low-performing Basic Schools and all Special Schools in Ghana. In addition, the project also supports strengthening the accountability of the entire education system.
“At the end of the project period, the project interventions and activities will be evaluated to identify those that contribute effectively to the achievement of the project objective. Effective measures will be sustained in beneficiary schools and scaled to all schools in the country.
“The project has a comprehensive results framework with 31 indicators to monitor the progress. Progress will be monitored on an annual basis. The indicators are related to the activities under the project.
“In addition, the project will include impact evaluations to measure the overall effects of the project.
“The scope of the project is countrywide. Beneficiary schools are spread across all 260 districts in the country. Each District Education Office will be supported to oversee implementation.”
Non-GALOP schools are not amongst the 10,000 selected low-performing schools in the country.
“All non-GALOP schools are within districts that will receive capacity building and strengthening under this project, which will improve the support from the districts to all schools in the country.
“The project’s interventions to strengthen system accountability, develop a national assessment strategy and conduct the P4 national standardized assessment tests will benefit non-GALOP schools. In addition, all schools will benefit from the Teacher Deployment and Transfer Strategy that ensures the equitable distribution of trained teachers across schools in the country.
“Staff in the targeted GALOP schools will remain on GES payroll and contracts. Teaching staff will receive additional training, mentoring and coaching support under the project.”
Teachers in the targeted schools will receive additional INSET and coaching and mentoring from head teachers and SISOs. These incentives will provide additional support to staff in the targeted schools.
“Consultations were held with Regional and District Education Directorates, Circuit Supervisors, teachers, head teachers, coalitions of NGOs in education, development partners, academics and other stakeholders in the design of the project. Additional stakeholder engagements will be held before project implementation