WASHINGTON, March 6, 2014 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved financing for Nigeria to further support secondary education programs in Lagos State. This will allow strong results to be sustained and evaluated in hundreds of secondary schools, and expanded to others.
The new IDA* credit of over US$42 million to the Lagos EKO Secondary School Project is an addition to an original credit of US$95 million; which systematically benefited over 620,000 students a year in 667 public secondary schools in Lagos State, over 2009-2013; thereby increasing the number of poor children accessing quality secondary education, and helping technical college graduates from low-income backgrounds to find well-paying jobs.
Among the significant results already achieved under the project, student learning improved dramatically in the Basic Education Certificate examinations with student scores from beneficiary schools going up from 30 to 70 percent in English, 31 to 45 percent in Mathematics, and 27 to 65 percent in Basic Sciences.
Further, the results of the June 2013 West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate external examinations showed that 41 percent of students from beneficiary schools passed five credits and above, as compared to just over 18 percent before the project was implemented.
“When students from poor families have the opportunity to go to secondary school and acquire sound knowledge and skills, they stand a fair chance of getting a good job or accessing economic opportunities later in life, this contributes to eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity, in furtherance of the World Bank’s two main goals,” said Marie Francoise Marie-Nelly, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria.
With the new financing, the project will now extend school development grants to the original beneficiary schools until 2015, track the performance of beneficiary students in public examinations, and continue professional development activities for teachers and school management.
“The Lagos EKO project has built a critical pathway for students from low-income backgrounds to gain access to good-quality secondary education, showing that where there is a will, there is a way,” said Olatunde Adekola, World Bank task team leader for the project. “This project displays innovative features, including school grants which allow school principals to address their specific learning needs, greater accountability through the involvement of main stakeholders in key school management decisions and public private partnership in vocational training.”
* The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing loans (called “credits”) and grants for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 81 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.5 billion people living on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 108 countries. Annual commitments have increased steadily and averaged about $15 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent of commitments going to Africa.