WASHINGTON, April 30th, 2013— The World Bank approved today a grant of US $10 million to the Government of Maldives to expand and strengthen the education system.
The Maldives has about 62,000 students and 6,000 teachers in approximately 220 public schools. In addition, there are a small number of private education institutions which enroll about 1,700 school children. Despite these achievements the education system faces a number of future challenges. There is a sharp drop in enrollment at the higher secondary education level. The higher secondary education net enrollment rate is a mere 19 percent, with boys’ net enrollment at 20 percent and girls’ net enrollment at 19 percent.
“It is important that the education development program also addresses the quality of education through several strategic initiatives. In this regard, the project will support the development of a system of regular National Assessments of Learning Outcomes, which can inform policy formulation and program development” said Diarietou Gaye, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and The Maldives.
The key activities to improve school performance under the project, such as the quality assurance program and the professional development of teachers, will be implemented mainly at the school level. Also, school-based management activities and the annual school feedback form (ASFF) program will be also implemented at the school level.
The school heads and senior management teams will be responsible for the organization and management of these activities. The principals and senior management teams will lead the internal self-evaluations of the quality assurance process. They will also lead the needs assessments of teacher skills and competencies in relation to the school development plans, and organize the professional development programs required. The school heads and senior management teams will also be responsible for implementing the ASFF program.
“This is a well-coordinated project planned by the Ministry of Education in partnership with school stakeholders”, said Harsha Aturupane, World Bank Lead Education Specialist, who is the Task Team Leader of the project.
The Government of Maldives is aware of the challenges in the overall education sector. The Ministry of Education has prepared an education sector development program to address these challenges which will enhance and strengthen the overall quality of education in the Maldives in the future.