Govt, WB sign US$ 265 m deal for education project


International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessional arm, will provide additional US$ 265 million for the ongoing Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project.


Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin and World Bank Country Director Johannes Zutt signed an additional financing agreement on behalf of the government and World Bank respectively at the External Relations Division on Wednesday.


The additional financing will help annually 4.5 million poor rural children in 215 upazilas across the country to continue secondary level education.


The credit from IDA has 40 years to maturity, including a 10-year grace period with a service charge of 0.75 percent, said a press release.


With this additional financing, the project will continue to provide poverty-targeted stipends and tuition to poor students. It will give incentives to students, teachers and schools to increase enrollment and retention in secondary level education, it said.


It will also scale up activities within 125 upazilas where the project is being implemented and expand in 90 more upazilas to improve secondary education quality and systematically monitor learning outcomes and ensure greater accountability at school level, it added.


The Secondary Education Quality and Access Enhancement Project started in 2008 and provided targeted stipends and tuition to 1.8 million disadvantaged children. The share of poor children in total secondary enrolment rose to 38 percent in 2012, up from 30 percent in 2008.


The project will continue to benefit poor students, teachers, and school management committee as well as improve the quality of education with a special emphasis on mathematics, English language and reading habits.


The World Bank is the largest external funder in the education sector in Bangladesh. Currently the World Bank’s commitment stands at $1.1 billion in primary, secondary, tertiary, and vocational levels as well as support to out-of school-children.

Source: UNB Connect


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