Maputo — The World Bank on Wednesday approved a grant of 104 million US dollars from the International Development Association (IDA) in support of skills development programs for young Mozambicans.
According to a World Bank press release, the project will invest in the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Higher Education (HE) subsystems to improve access and quality of educational curriculums and skills development training in response to the country’s priorities and economic sectors.
“Empowering its youth by developing higher level skills through quality post-secondary education, while working on policies to incentivize the creation of jobs linked to modern productive systems, are among the most important challenges facing the country if it is to reap the benefits of its demographic dividend,” noted Idah Z. Pswarayi-Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Mozambique, cited in the release.
“Better educated youths will contribute to reduce income inequality, facilitate social mobility and help jump-start the much needed fertility transition”, he said.
The project is intended “to increase access to quality education and training at TVET and HE levels in priority areas relevant to future economic development, focusing on science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and climate change”, the release adds. “It will also support teacher training programmes, including the use of new teaching methods, and will address current shortages of specialized technical skills by strengthening high-quality skills development programs in industrial maintenance, agriculture, ICT, and construction, among other priority sectors, at selected TVET institutions”.
The project will also “support continued collaboration with industries and help operationalize the National Training Fund for Professional Education, which will seek to leverage private sector financing for skills development in response to market needs, helping to maximize financing for development”.
The release adds that the project “seeks to tackle key drivers of fragility and help strengthen the social contract between people and the state by addressing the uneven provision of services and regional disparities”.
“Girls’ education and empowerment are essential to achieve greater social mobility and fertility transition,” added Ana Menezes, the Bank’s Senior Education Specialist and the project’s co-task team leader. “The project will seek to prioritize women’s access to scholarship and internship programs and will support regulations and activities aimed at expanding girls’ participation in science events and other programs likely to contribute to female enrolment in TVET and HE.”
“As the country faces recurrent extreme weather events likely to increase in the coming years, all relevant TVET and HE training programs financed by the project will be required to include climate change related content,” added Marina Bassi, Senior Economist and the project’s co-task team leader.
The IDA is the institution of the World Bank Group which assists the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and soft loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.