The Global Partnership for Education (GPE) has approved a grant of US$ 57.9 million to support primary education in Mozambique. The grant was approved at the World Education Forum which ended on 23 May in Seoul. It is part of a package of US$ 235 million that will also support improvements to primary education in Bangladesh, Nepal and Rwanda.

According to Education Minister Jorge Ferrao, efforts must be concentrated at the base of the educational structure to ensure that children learn how to read and write. Ferrao stressed his commitment to improving the quality of the country’s schools. He pledged that the Ministry would work to make the schools function more effectively.

“This is not an easy task because there are many challenges and our human and financial capacity is limited”, he said. Mozambique joined the GPE in 2003, and has received two allocations of GPE funds, totaling US$169 million. The GPE consists of 60 developing countries, donor governments, international organizations, and a variety of NGOs and business groups. The latest figures from the Education Ministry show significant improvements in primary education over the last five years. Thus the percentage of six year old children entering the first grade of primary education has risen from 67 per cent in 2009 to 82 per cent in 2014. Over the same period the number of pupils per teacher fell from 69 to 62.5. Mozambique is moving closer to gender parity in primary education –47 per cent of the pupils are girls. However the high dropout rate and poor levels of achievement in basic literacy and numeracy skills remain enormous challenges.