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World Bank Supports Moldova Education Sector Reform

January 24, 2013

WASHINGTON D.C., January 24, 2013 - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$40 million credit to the Republic of Moldova for the Education Reform Project. The new project will support the Government of Moldova in implementing reforms that will strengthen the quality of education and lead to a more efficient education sector. 

“The Moldova Education Reform Project will support the Government‘s reform program in education sector over the next five years,” said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Manager for Moldova. “The project beneficiaries include present and future students of Moldova, teachers, school directors and Moldovan economy as a whole, as the reforms will help produce better educated citizens with knowledge and skills that are relevant to the world and labor market of tomorrow.”

Improving the quality, relevance and efficiency of the education system is a main priority for Moldova, as its economic growth and development will necessarily have to rely on the country’s human capital. A better educated workforce will help Moldova create jobs, foster thriving business environment, and attract investments, which would in turn help raise the standards and quality of life for Moldova’s citizens.

Since its independence in the 1990s, the education sector in Moldova has constantly suffered from a lack of efficiency and declining education quality. Moldova’s performance in international assessments illustrates the quality challenges the system currently faces. The results of PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) 2009 Plus show that the performance of the country’s 15-year-olds in reading, math, and science is among the lowest in Europe.  Around 60 percent of Moldova's 15-year-olds lack the basic levels of proficiency in reading and math literacy, needed to participate effectively and productively in the society. These results show the urgency to continue, consolidate and extend reforms in education.

The Education Sector Reform Project will finance reforms in four main areas:

  • implementation of quality assurance standards for receiving schools; 
  • establishment of teachers’ and school directors’ training and remuneration programs;
  • improvement in student assessment systems; and
  • improvement in the quality of data and management systems.

Since Moldova joined the World Bank in 1992, a total of US$910 million have been allocated to 45 operations in the country. Currently, the World Bank portfolio includes 11 active projects with total commitments of US$256 million. Areas of support include education, social assistance, e-governance, healthcare, water and sanitation, agriculture, business development, and others.

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PRESS RELEASE NO:
2013/232/ECA