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

  • Sierra Leone
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
Bank Risk Rating
Risk rating varies among banks and may refer only to the particular investment and not to the risk for the project as a whole. Projects marked 'U' have an 'Unknown' risk rating at the time of disclosure.
Voting Date
Jun 25, 2019
The estimate day the bank will vote on a proposed investment. The decision dates may change, so review updated project documents or contact the EWS team.
Ministry of Finance, Government of Sierra Leone
The holder of the loan, grant, or other investment.
  • 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, etc.
Investment Amount (USD)
$ 30.00 million
Value listed on project documents at time of disclosure. If necessary, converted to USD$. 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, converted to USD$. Please see updated project documentation for more information.
Primary Source

Original disclosure @ WB website

Updated in EWS Feb 14, 2019

Disclosed by Bank Dec 11, 2018

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Project 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
  • World Bank (WB)
Contact Information

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


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