The World Bank is helping Cambodia improve the access and quality of its basic education system and meet the Millenium Development Goal of Education for All (EFA).
To achieve this the Education Quality Improvement Project (closed) for Cambodia developed a demonstration model, shown to be effective for extension to other provinces, of a participatory approach to school quality improvement and performance-based resource management. The project had two main components. The first component financed a quality improvement grants program that:
Recruited and trained "animators" (or "lightning rods") who worked with community and school cluster leaders to engage them in discussions about effective schools, in identifying problems and solutions, and in developing cluster improvement plans as a basis for preparing grant proposals;
Supported a provincial grants management committee which met annually to review proposals;
Provided quality improvement grants to school clusters; and
Supplied training, monitoring, and evaluation funds for activities related to the professional development of animators as well as assisted in monitoring and evaluated grants by other officials.
The second component supported the institutional strengthening/capacity building of Cambodia's education sector by supporting the National Committee on Effective Schooling; funding policy studies, including grade four examinations and decentralization); and provided operational support for provincial and district education offices.
As a result of the project, more than 1,000 participating schools achieved higher test scores in literacy, had lower drop-out and higher promotion rates. On average, in each of the 172 school clusters supported by the project, around 40 students who were at risk for dropping out of school, completed their schooling.
- Among the different quality improvement interventions in the program, money invested in teacher development had the highest pay-off in terms of student retention, promotion and student learning. Cost-effectiveness calculations show that even small amounts spent on teacher training may have a large impact on learning.
- Extensive classroom observations by an independent impact assessment team show evidence of teachers adopting child-friendly approaches to classroom routines, management and teaching.
- Health and vocational training had a measurable effect on reducing student drop-out. Investments in equipment and school infrastructure were also important factors in improving promotion rates.
- At the district level, the project helped the Office of Education's efforts at decentralization through the provision of support services.
- This successful pilot was used as a model for the development of education projects in Indonesia and Afghanistan.
The ongoing Education Sector Support Project is a follow-up to the Education Quality Improvement Project and continues to focus on improving access and quality of the basic education through the following: (1) school construction in areas with incomplete primary or secondary schools and (2) providing scholarships to famillies to encourage disadvantaged children to enroll in school.
In May 2007, Cambodia was welcomed into the Fast Track Inititative Partnership to help improve access to and the quality of its basic education system. To achieve this, it will receive $54 million from the FTI's Catalytic Fund over the next three years.
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Bank assistance – through analytical work and lending – focuses on supporting the Government's efforts to ensure adequate financing and increased access to education in poor areas.The Bank, in cooperation with DFID, is currently supporting the Basic Education in Western Areas Project (ongoing), which focuses on education in poor areas. The project is implemented in Sichuan, Yunnan, Guanxi, Ningxia, and Gansu provinces, and approximately 19 percent of the affected children come from minority areas. DFID provides important support for the project, including grant money that is blended to improve the repayment terms of Bank loan funds, experience in designing a highly participatory project preparation approach, and a school-based management model for education development in poor areas.
Higher education has become an important topic for the government and the World Bank as the economy continues to grow and there is a strong demand among households for higher education. The Higher Education Reform Project's (closed) overall objective was to improve the quality and relevance of undergraduate basic science and engineering programs through integrated reform activities in curriculum and teaching methodology. Some major results of the project include: 1) establishment of a modern and integrated system of experiment labs that facilitate cross-discipline teaching and learning; 2) Institutionalization of the credit system providing students a flexible choice of majors and multiple modes of assessing student learning achievements; 3) Establishment of a quality assessment system and 4) System-wide adoption of a graduate tracer study to track student employment after graduation.
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Rapid decentralization following the combined economic and governance crises of the late 1990s resulted in considerable chaos in the education system. Since then, the Ministry of Education and the World Bank have been working to construct the architecture required to run the school system.
Early Childhood Education
The Early Childood Education Development Project (ongoing) is supporting the government in the expansion of early childhood education services to the poor in Indonesia to help it achieve the MDG of Education for All by improving school readiness and children's overall development.
The Sumatra, East Java, East Nusa Tenggara and Central Indonesia Junior Secondary Education Projects (closed) improved the quality and coverage of junior secondary education in these regions. This was primarily acheived by expanding access to junior secondary schools in a cost-effective and equitable manner and improving teaching at this level of schooling. Specifically, the projects supported the construction of 383 new schools in rural areas and added 1,000 new classrooms to existing rural schools. This amounted to a total of 115,000 new student places established during the project. School monitoring reports have found that by the completion of the projects, there was a 100% utilitization rate of the newly established schools and classrooms. The projects also established 385 new teacher/student housing units and the contracting of specialist subject teachers for underserved schools.
Managing Higher Education for Relevance and Efficiency Project (ongoing) supports the government's Higher Education Long-Term Strategy by creating an enabling environment for the evolution of autonomous and accountable public higher education institutions. It also is helping develop effective support mechanisms for the improvement of the quality, relevance, efficiency and equity of higher education. The project is in its second year of implementation and has shown promising results in strengthening the management and administration of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)by providing competitive grants to HEIs.
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The World Bank is helping Lao PDR improve the access and quality of its basic education system and achieve the Millenium Development Goal of Education for All (EFA).
The Lao Second Education Development Project (ongoing) is helping Lao PDR achieve the Millenium Development Goal of universal completion of primary education for all. The project is focused on increasing primary enrollment and completion rates in 19 of the poorest districts in the six poorest provinces in Lao: Phongsaly, Louangnamtha, Oudomxay, Houaphanh, Attapeu and Xekong.
The former Lao Education Development Project(closed) focused on developing and implementing a new curriculum and expanding primary and secondary school facilities throughout the country.
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Although not a borrower, the World Bank has been providing technical expertise to Malaysia on its education system.
The World Bank is preparing a report, Malaysia and the Knowledge Economy: Building a World-Class Higher Education System, at the request of the Government of Malaysia as a contribution to the long term development objectives for the university sector under the forthcoming Ninth Malaysia Plan. The paper will provide policy recommendations to the GOM to help develop a world-class higher education system in Malaysia which can hold its place internationally. The paper will also provide a strategic vision for the evolution of the country's universities towards becoming world class.
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The World Bank is working together with the Government of Mongolia to ensure that all children have access to a quality basic education and achieve the MDG of Education for All (EFA).
The Rural Education and Development Project is providing classroom libraries to all grade 1-5 classrooms in rural schools. As of June 2007, 1,369 classroom libraries had been delivered to 164 schools and 303 primary school teachers had been trained under the project. Teacher training focuses on improving the skills of teachers in rural schools around the use of classroom libraries. The project hopes to build a model for teacher training that is more sustainable in rural areas.
In September 2006, Mongolia was accepted into the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) to help support the implementation of its Education Sector Plan and achieve the goal of EFA and received $29.4 million from the FTI's Catalytic Fund.
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The World Bank has been working collaboratively with the governments of these island states and other donors to increase access to a quality basic education and achieve the MDG of Education for All (EFA).
Results in specific countries are as follows:
Tonga: Along with the New Zealand Agency for International Development, the World Bank is supporting education in Tonga through the Tonga Education Support Project. The project is working to improve the quality of schooling in Tonga and greater equity in the system by providing grants at the school level.
Other Pacific Islands: The World Bank is working with other donors in the Pacific Islands on issues related to the acheivement of Education for All (EFA) in these small island nations. The World Bank is also working with other donors on developing education sector plans in these countries that could lead to acceptance into the Fast Track Initiative.
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The World Bank is assisting the Philippines in its overall education reform agenda, including fiscal reform and improved effectiveness of public institutions.
The ongoing National Program Support for Basic Education Project is working to improve the capacity and effectiveness of the Department of Education system through a package of reforms to address equity, quality, governance and financing of basic education.
The Social Expenditure Management Project (closed) helped protect the provision of basic social services primarily utilised by the poor, and to promote long-term improvements in public expenditure management in the social sector departments such as the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
Under the project, 1,535 classrooms were constructed or rehabilitated improving on the target amount of 900 classrooms. The project also piloted an innovative School-Based Repair and Maintenance Scheme whereby a small repair and maintenance fund (Php 10,000) was provided directly to each school to develop a culture of regular maintenance and upkeep. In using competitive bidding procedures, the project succeeded in delivering 754,069 desks and chairs compared to the target budget of 450,000. In the two years preceding the project, the textbook:pupil ratio was 1:8. The project delivered over 42 million textbooks to schools improving the textbook:pupil ratio to between 1:1 and 1:2 in core subjects. In addition to ensuring that all schools had enough textbooks, the project improved the procurement and delivery of textbooks through the introduction of competitive bidding procedures and involving civil society organizations in the monitoring of textbook delivery.
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The World Bank continues to engage with the government in the area of human development through the Thailand Social Monitors. The Thailand Social Monitors look at issues affecting Thais in the areas of health, education, and social protection. Recent Social Monitors examined secondary education, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and formal and informal social safety nets.
The Technical Education Project (closed) improved the quality of technical education programs in 11 selected Rajamangala Institute of Technology (RIT) campuses. Specifically, the project:
Improved the management capacity within the RITs.
Strengthened curricula and linkages with industry.
Upgraded workshops and laboratories through the provision of up-to-date equipment and physical improvements to buildings.
Expanded the supply and upgrade the quality of instructional materials.
Strengthened the practical skills of key teaching staff in advanced technologies through overseas training.
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World Bank assistance to Timor-Leste focuses on improving access to quality basic education to achieve the MDG of Education for All (EFA). Within basic education, assitance is focused on improving the physical infrastructure of schools, teacher development and quality improvements such as textbooks and learning materials.
The Emergency School Readiness Project (closed) provided school-age children and youth with opportunities for education at a basic operational level, that is, having safe school buildings with basic furniture, textbooks and learning materials, and management support. The project promoted social mobilization and community participation for the creation of a modem school system and built up the capacity of school system managers.
2,780 classrooms in 535 schools have been rehabilitated, exceeding the appraisal target by 32 percent. A greater number of children than that before the emergency were attending schools with basic furniture and teaching/learning materials. Enrollments also increased more sharply than expected at appraisal. More than two million books have been distributed to schools. The appraisal team expected that books would be distributed to 80 percent of students by October 31, 2000 and 95 percent of all students by the project completion. The actual percentage at completion was estimated at 100 percent for various subject books in Bahasa Indonesia, 100 percent for Portuguese language books for students in grades 1 and 2, and 90 percent for the picture books for grade 1 students.
The Fundamental School Quality Project (closed) was a follow-up to the Emergency School Readiness Project and focused on basic education, with specific attention to junior secondary school. It rehabilitated physical facilities and provided textbooks and other instructional materials.
Timor-Leste was also accepted into the Fast Track Initiative in 2006 and is currently receiving support from the FTI Catalytic Fund to expand access to basic education by rehabiltating and upgrading school facilities and providing quality improvements through investments in textbooks and other resource materials.
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During the past decade Vietnam has accomplished notable progress in the field of education. Primary net enrollment rates have increased, as have enrollment rates in tertiary education. The World Bank is working primarily to help the Vietnamese improve the quality of the education system and improve access for the most disadvantaged groups in society.
Vietnam's Primary Education Project(closed) focused on improving the access to quality primary education in five of the poorest provinces-Yen Bai, Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Quang Nam, and Vinh Long. Specifically the project focused on delivering the following:
school books, teaching aids and curriculum standards
building and rehabilitating classrooms
improving management of the primary education system with education management information systems and student performance measurement
Net primary school enrollment rate increased from 86 percent in 1993 to 95 percent in 2002. Completion rates rose from 75.8 percent to 83 percent. Drop-out rates went down and the participation of children from ethnic minorities increased in the five provinces.
- Some 7,000 primary classrooms were built or renovated and new sanitary and water supply facilities were added.
- Textbooks were supplied to grade one students in approximately 2,300 communes across 52 provinces.
- Every school in Vietnam was supplied with a complete set of simple teaching aids.
- 250 teachers and 50 educators were trained in bilingual education instruction. Bilingual education was introduced in eight remote mountainous provinces.
- A single curriculum is now the standard in Vietnam, compared to three distinct curricula for primary education previously.
- The Ministry of Education’s capacity to plan, execute and supervise civil works and to produce and distribute textbooks has improved notably.
The First Higher Education Project was completed in December 2006. The project focused on building capacity within the Goverment to develop and implement the Government's Higher Education Reform Agenda 2005-2015 and provided competitive-based grants to universities in Vietnam that have enhanced the research, teaching and management capacity of higher education institutions.
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