Focusing Resources on Equity and Excellence of Education Project (FREE Education Program) (WB-P167897)

  • Sierra Leone
Geographic location where the impacts of the investment may be experienced.
Financial Institutions
  • World Bank (WB)
International, regional and national development finance institutions. Many of these banks have a public interest mission, such as poverty reduction.
Project Status
Stage of the project cycle. Stages vary by development bank and can include: pending, approval, implementation, and closed or completed.
Bank Risk Rating
Environmental and social categorization assessed by the development bank as a measure of the planned project’s environmental and social impacts. A higher risk rating may require more due diligence to limit or avoid harm to people and the environment. For example, "A" or "B" are risk categories where "A" represents the highest amount of risk. Results will include projects that specifically recorded a rating, all other projects are marked ‘U’ for "Undisclosed."
Voting Date
Jun 25, 2019
Date when project documentation and funding is reviewed by the Board for consideration and approval. Some development banks will state a "board date" or "decision date." When funding approval is obtained, the legal documents are accepted and signed, the implementation phase begins.
Ministry of Finance, Government of Sierra Leone
A public entity (government or state-owned) provided with funds or financial support to manage and/or implement a project.
  • Education and Health
The service or industry focus of the investment. A project can have several sectors.
Investment Type(s)
The categories of the bank investment: loan, grant, guarantee, technical assistance, advisory services, equity and fund.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 30.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Project Cost (USD)
$ 70.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, this amount is converted to USD ($) on the date of disclosure. Please review updated project documents for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Feb 14, 2019

Disclosed by Bank Dec 11, 2018

Contribute Information
Can you contribute information about this project?
Contact the EWS Team

Project Description
If provided by the financial institution, the Early Warning System Team writes a short summary describing the purported development objective of the project and project components. Review the complete project documentation for a detailed description.

According to bank documents, the higher level development objective is to improve Sierra Leone human capital with increased access to quality education.

The project has 4 components:

  1. School Improvement
    1. Performance-based school financing. This sub-component would focus on strengthening education provision by providing performance-based grants to primary, JSS and SSS schools.
    2. School Infrastructure development. This sub-component will review and identify the infrastructure needs in schools (e.g. classrooms, WASH, major rehabilitation), as well as develop options and modalities for addressing the gaps.
  2. Curriculum, Textbooks and Learning Materials and Assessment
    1. Curriculum, Textbook and Learning Materials. This sub-component will (i) support MBSSE to translate the curriculum framework into learning outcome standards; and (ii) develop or curate a set of core textbooks that can be printed and distributed to schools at reasonable costs.
    2. Enhancing assessment capacity. This component will support (i) national West African Examinations Council (WAEC) office to improve the integrity of National Primary School Examination (NPSE) and Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE); and (ii) developing national learning assessment capacity.
  3. Teacher Management and Development
    1. Teacher capacity development. This sub-component will provide pedagogical support to teachers and head teachers to implement the curriculum and achieve improved student and teacher performance/effort. The professional development program will cover: (i) foundational academic knowledge; (ii) curriculum framework; (iii) structured pedagogy in core subjects; (iv) assessment of student learning; and (v) classroom management and ability to support students with learning difficulties.
    2. Teaching force human resource management. Building on the results of the EU support program, this sub-component will continue to implement the teaching force HR reforms led by the TSC including the implementation of the pre-service teacher training standards, teacher professional standards and teacher performance management.
  4. System Administration, Governance and Financing. The objective of this component to strengthen the capacity of the MBSSE and its participating institutions for planning, management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and provide support for program implementation (e.g., M&E, fiduciary, safeguards).
    1. Capacity development of planning, management, and M&E. This activity is designed to strengthen the capacity of the MoSPE for planning, policy analysis, and M&E.
    2. Support consistent school data collection and analysis. To address data collection in the short term and ensure consistent reporting, the proposed FREE program will support the Ministry to continue to implement the ASC using technology that has been carried out successfully under the REDiSL project.
    3. Setting up an effective quality assurance system. This sub-component will support the development, adoption and implementation of a quality assurance system focusing on registration, accreditation and regulation of the non-state schools in the country.
    4. Program coordination, M&E. This sub-component will undertake the planning, coordination and reporting of the program, as well as provide technical support to the delivery of the entire program.
Investment Description
Here you can find a list of individual development financial institutions that finance the project.

Contact Information
This section aims to support the local communities and local CSO to get to know which stakeholders are involved in a project with their roles and responsibilities. If available, there may be a complaint office for the respective bank which operates independently to receive and determine violations in policy and practice. Independent Accountability Mechanisms receive and respond to complaints. Most Independent Accountability Mechanisms offer two functions for addressing complaints: dispute resolution and compliance review.

World Bank
Thanh Thi Mai
Senior Education Specialist
Ministry of Finance
Alpha Sesay
PFMU Manager 

Implementing Agencies
Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education
Alpha Timbo


The World Bank Inspection Panel is the independent complaint mechanism and fact-finding body for people who believe they are likely to be, or have been, adversely affected by a World Bank-financed project. If you submit a complaint to the Inspection Panel, they may investigate to assess whether the World Bank is following its own policies and procedures for preventing harm to people or the environment. You can contact the Inspection Panel or submit a complaint by emailing You can learn more about the Inspection Panel and how to file a complaint at:

How it works

How it works