Human capital is most important in development – Anna Bjerde

From left to right: Rev Ntim Fordjour, Anna Bjerde and Ousmane Diagana

Human capital is the most important ingredient in human development, and without it human development cannot be achieved in a sustainable way, Ms Anna Bjerde, the Managing Director in Charge of World Bank Operations has said during visits to projects that have been funded by the Bank in Ghana.

She also expressed the Bank’s delight to be working with the Ministry of Education to improve learning outcomes in the country’s basic schools.

Ms Bjerde further pointed that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted learning outcomes. She said before the pandemic, tracking records of 10-year-old children and how they are able to read and comprehend stories showed that 57 per cent had difficulties, but after the pandemic 70 per cent of children at age 10 have difficulties reading and understanding a story they read.

The World Bank is funding the Ghana Accountability and Learning Outcomes Project (GALOP) with $150 million from the International Development Association (IDA), and $60.7 million from Trust Funds from 2019 to 2025. The financing is to support the Ghana government to improve the quality of education for over two million children in low performing basic education schools.

The GALOP supports teaching and learning through modern in-service teacher training, and provision of learning materials.

It also builds on the findings of Ghana’s Systematic Country Diagnostic which identifies education as key for increasing labour productivity and building Ghana’s human capital. The timing and objectives of the GALOP is believed to be aligned with the current focus on learning poverty, and the project’s implementation is expected to lead to an improvement in learning outcomes at the basic level.

In his remarks during a visit to the new Gbawe Municipal Basic School, Deputy Minister of Education, Rev John Ntim Fordjour said GALOP targets at remedying learning poverty, which is known to lead to poverty later in life.

He added that the Project has led to new initiatives, such as the communities of learning in which communities take interest in learning outcomes of children.

According to him GALLOP which is benefitting over 10,000 least performing schools in the country has brought about major reforms in education.

Ms Bjerde and her delegation also visited the Ghana Tech Hub and Ghana Innovation Hub in Accra that have received World Bank funding.

The Bank under the Ghana Digital Acceleration Project (GDAP), has approved $200 million to support  the Ghana in its digital transformation efforts, and the Project is focusing on improving broadband access, including in rural areas, government digital services and private sector digital innovation.

By Emmanuel K Dogbevi
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