CEB approves €27 million loan to Albania for digital education

Beyond the CEB loan, the project will receive additional support through a 10 million euro grant from the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and an extra 4 million euro contribution from the Albanian government.

Students using computers in the lab

The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has given the green light to a 27 million euro loan for Albania, they said in a new publication detailing all 14 of their new disbursements. This funding is earmarked to co-finance the implementation of ‘smart labs’ in over 600 schools nationwide, focusing on information and communication technology (ICT). The initiative aims to enhance internet access for approximately 150,000 students and facilitate capacity-building programmes for educators.

With a strategic emphasis on students in remote and rural areas facing limited digital educational opportunities, the project aligns closely with Albania’s National Education Strategy 2021—2016. This strategy places a high priority on crafting curricula that emphasise digital competencies and computer programming skills.

Why does it matter?

Cultivating digital skills and integrating ICT into education is something needed in all countries, not just Albania. This focus is driven by economic development, as digital skills contribute significantly to GDP, revenue growth, innovation, and more. Additionally, investing in digital infrastructure for schools in the long term can prevent closures during crises and faster recovery. The Council of Europe Development Bank’s aid for post-earthquake reconstruction in 2020, incorporating crucial infrastructure, showcases this resilience-building approach.