Special Feature

WB gives $510m to improve secondary education system

14 Aug,2018

The government yesterday signed a $510 million financing agreement with the World Bank to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the secondary education system in Bangladesh.

The move will benefit 13 million students studying in grades 6 to 12, said a statement from the Washington-based multilateral lender.

It will focus on improving education quality and access, and that students -- especially girls and children from low-income households -- complete secondary education. For this end, the programme will support stipends and school grants.

“Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in advancing access to education and has achieved gender parity in secondary education,” said Rajashree Paralkar, acting WB country director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.

Continuing to invest in quality education is critical for Bangladesh to achieve its vision of becoming a middle-income country. For this, the programme will support modernisation of curriculum and ensure professional development, management, and accountability of teachers, Paralkar added.

The programme will provide training to 500,000 school teachers to enhance quality of secondary education. It will also support learning assessments of students in grade 6, 8 and 10 to identify learning gaps and suggest policy actions.

“The 7th Five-Year Plan recognises secondary education as a critical education cycle to equip the youth with foundational skills to enhance work productivity and learn new technologies,” said Kazi Shofiqul Azam, secretary to the economic relations division. The financing will contribute to the government's nationwide secondary education development programme and help ensure that the future generations are equipped with the right skills needed for a growing economy, he added.

The credit from the WB's International Development Association, which provides grants or zero-interest loans, has a 38-year term, including a six-year grace period, and a service charge of 0.75 percent.

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