WASHINGTON – May 29, 2012 - The World Bank Board of Directors approved today a US$130 million loan to support the Recife Education and Public Management Project. The initiative aims to expand coverage of improved early child education (ECE), create conditions more conducive to learning in primary and lower secondary schools (ages 6 to 14), and improve municipal public management.
According to the 2010 School Census in Brazil, around 46,000 children between the ages of zero and five attend Early Child Education centers in Recife, capital of Pernambuco State. However, only 34 percent of this total are enrolled in municipal institutions. This low number is explained both by a lack of sufficient centers and poorly equipped existing centers, leaving parents less incentive to enroll their children.
On the national fifth grade test (Prova Brasil), Recife’s students ranked among the bottom three state capitals in both Mathematics and Portuguese. In ninth grade, Recife ranked last in both areas. Age-grade distortion, low literacy levels in the early years of schooling, and the quality of teaching are three major reasons behind students’ still unsatisfactory performance.
“This project will help Recife to change these children’s stories. Through this partnership, existing educational centers will be rehabilitated and better equipped. Also, teachers will have the opportunity to update their knowledge and renovate their skills,” said Deborah L. Wetzel, World Bank director for Brazil. “More than improve children’s lives, this program is paving the way for a more socially equal and economically self-sufficient city”.
The Recife Education and Public Management Project will increase the quality of Recife’s educational system and public management through the following actions:
- Rehabilitation of ECE centers.
- Implementation of a multi-sectoral early child development program (age 0 to 5).
- Promotion of professional development of the municipal teaching force.
- Strengthening of municipal public management in six areas – education evaluation and administration; tax administration; public debt management; efficiency of public expenditures; planning, results-based management, and Project management; and urban mobility management.
This Specific Investment Loan, with a Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp), from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is guaranteed by the Federative Republic of Brazil and has a final maturity of 25 years, including a seven year grace period.