DUSHANBE, May 25, 2010 - The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$ 2 million grant as an Additional Financing for the Education Modernization Project in Tajikistan. The main goal of the Additional Financing is to further develop the country’s student assessment system in order to ultimately improve the quality of learning and teaching. The Additional Financing will be complemented by the capacity building and technical assistance activities focused on learning assessment funded by the Russian Education Aid for Development (READ).
This additional financing builds on the achievements of the Education Modernization Project which has been under implementation in Tajikistan since 2003. The new funding will be used for the construction, equipment and furnishing of the newly established National Testing Centre (NTC). The main goals of the NTC are to administer reliable and valid forms of student learning assessment, including university admission tests and grade level assessments.
The lack of systematic assessment is one of the major weaknesses in education management and planning capacity in Tajikistan. With the help of the additional financing and the READ funds, in the next three to four years, Tajikistan will have a fully functioning National Testing Center with the capacity to administer University Entrance Exams (UEEs) and the beginnings of a grade level student assessments that will one day meet international standards.
“The primary goal of this additional funding is to improve the quality of education through the institutionalization and capacity building for learning assessments”, said Scherezad Joya Monami Lalif, Senior Education Specialist of the World Bank and Team Leader of the Project. “Poor outcomes at all levels of the education system in Tajikistan are largely unexplored, and there remains a profound need to determine where and why shortcomings exist in order to develop programs and policies that best meet the most pressing education needs.”
The Additional Financing will be implemented by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Tajikistan during the period of three years. The grant is provided through the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries.
Tajikistan became a member of the World Bank and the International Development Association in 1993. Since then, 36 projects totalling US$ 505 million have been supported. Currently in Tajikistan there are 18 ongoing World Bank supported projects in health, education, agriculture, water and energy, municipal infrastructure, and public sector management that are helping Tajikistan’s poorest to weather the financial crisis and pave the way for sustainable economic development.