PODGORICA (Montenegro), May 13 (SeeNews) - The European Investment Bank (EIB) plans to provide a grant of up to 2.9 million euro ($3.0 million) to Montenegro's government to accelerate the modernisation of the national education system, it said.
The EIB grant will cover technical and advisory support for project preparation and the public procurement process, and for developing national monitoring and evaluation standards for similar projects, the EIB said in a statement on Thursday.
The grant stems from the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI), which aims to support economic growth, job creation, social cohesion and the development of vital infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans and will accelerate upgrades that are expected to create an additional 2,070 places in schools across Montenegro, and 530 new full-time jobs, the EIB said.
"By helping to expand and improve education services, the EIB is ensuring equal access to high-quality learning conditions for all children, thus fostering inclusivity and equality. In this way, we are contributing to the foundation of a modern education system, which will improve youth employability and promote economic growth in the country," EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova said.
The programme finances the procurement of modern equipment and the construction and renovation of public education infrastructure, including kindergartens, primary, secondary and vocational schools, as well as the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) equipment and school furniture, the EIB noted.
"Our investments will address overall weaknesses in the learning process and improve the inclusion of vulnerable groups such as students with disabilities, Roma and other minority groups. While we plan to channel our pre-accession funds mostly through a direct budget support programme, infrastructure needs will be supported by the EIB and other financial institutions, in line with Montenegro’s needs. Our mutual support programmes are complimentary and can help the country achieve the best results," Oana Cristina Popa, EU Ambassador and Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, said.
The operation supports the ongoing modernisation of the national education system as part of the 18 million euro education programme, which the EIB signed with Montenegro in 2019.
($ = 0.96299 euro)