Lessons learned from the GBEP project

Posted on 18 October 2017

The Gansu Basic Education Project (GBEP) was designed to help the Chinese government to achieve Universal Primary Education by 2005 and Universal Basic Education by 2010 in Gansu Province.

The purpose of the project was to have more boys and girls entering and completing the primary and junior middle school cycles in Gansu, especially in the four target counties, and to reduce inequalities within the educational system . After six years of implementation, the project attracted considerable interest especially within the education development community both at national and international level.

Although there are plenty of success stories in the project, it is also relevant to ask - are there also lessons from its failures, or aspects that did not work well? What would the managers of the project do differently now if they had the chance to implement the project again?


Posted on 13 October 2017

The UK aid-funded Southwest Basic Education Project (SBEP) operated during 2006 – 2010 in 27 of the poorest and most remote counties in Southwestern China. The project was designed to improve the Provincial and County governments’ own systems of education support and development and included:

  • stipends for poor students ( especially girls and minorities)
  • introduction of School Development Planning (SDP)
  • teacher training on effective support, improved quality and greater relevance of schooling for disadvantaged children
  • involvement of those children in their own learning
  • head teacher training
  • equity training focusing on the most disadvantaged children.

New inspiring films by South Sudanese girls

Posted on 13 October 2017

The animated films which touch upon themes of displacement, early marriage and early pregnancy, and financial poverty, were created at a seven-day workshop in Juba by girls from Juba, Rumbek, Yambio and the Juba Protection of Civilians (PoC) site. The workshops gave the girls the opportunity to tell their stories through interviews and drawings. The drawings were then brought to life by turning them into moving images with animated characters and scenes. It is the first time that such an approach has been used in South Sudan.

One of the films, ‘Poni’s Journey’, was chosen to be screened in New York at the United Nations event ‘Girls Speak Out’ which showcased powerful, everyday stories from girls around the world.

Poni’s Journey helps raise awareness to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises. The constant conflict in South Sudan continues to impact access to Education, presenting another barrier to girls who already experience negative socio-cultural attitudes towards girls’ education. Only a small number of girls who begin primary education continue to secondary school - in 2016 128,000 girls started primary school but only 2,700 completed secondary school.

GESS Team Leader Akuja de Garang, described the films as ‘expressions of solidarity that we hope will inspire the girls of South Sudan to stand strong in the face of adversity’.

International Day of the Girl Child recognises the world’s 1.1 billion girls who are a powerful source of strength and creativity.

GESS is working nationwide to transform the lives of a generation of children in South Sudan – especially girls – through education. GESS is an initiative of the Ministry of General Education and Instruction of South Sudan, funded by the UK government and managed by Cambridge Education.