WASHINGTON, DC, June 17, 2010 — The World Bank (WB) approved a US$220 million loan yesterday for the second stage of the Quality Schools Program (QSP), which seeks to improve educational levels, particularly through increases in coverage, social participation and educational results, with a special emphasis in marginalized schools and the indigenous population.
The project promotes social participation in schools, a long term goal of the country’s educational sector. Since the creation of the QSP in 2001, the State has tried to involve community members in the execution of the school’s educational plan and administration, which becomes an added value.
“In coordination with the World Bank, we’re working to reinforce the Quality Schools Program, through one of the great unresolved issues of the educational system, which is giving supervisors the role of pedagogical leaders so that they work for competence, achievements and results, thus helping their administrative chores, giving an incentive for collegiate work, academic work and fostering the autonomy of schools and teachers as an essential element of the new parameters for educational quality,” said Fernando González Sánchez, Undersecretary for Basic Education. “This effort can only succeed with the participation of all educational players, including parents, who are our main allies in the implementation of this program. Thus the importance of the Social Participation School Councils,” he added.
The second stage includes schools with greater needs located in low income areas. It considers the partial reorientation of the program to improve internal efficiency and learning results. To that end, it will support pilot programs to identify, design and develop adjustments allowing for program adaptation and its expansion in schools within small communities in semi-urban and rural areas. Furthermore, it will train school directors and parents to improve staff management and participation levels.
The project has three components:
- School scholarships: supports the QSP through eligible school scholarships to implement school improvement plans;
- Supervision and monitoring: finances monitoring, supervision and advertising programs; and
- Policy and evaluation development: fosters the program’s institutional and organizational development, and contributes to long term educational policy changes.
“We’re convinced that quality and a greater relevance in the educational system add value to the country’s economy, which has all it needs to exploit its knowledge and specialization, while being competitive in the new global economic environment,” said Gloria Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia. “Improving productivity is the main engine of economic growth,” she added.
Some of the expected results include:
- A 25 percent increase in the number of schools participating in the QSP by 2013 – from 39,189 to 50,000;
- A 6 percent increase in the number of parents participating in the design of educational plans (from 72.2 to 80 percent);
- A 10 percent increase in the number of schools participating in the QSP, located in highly marginalized areas — from 40 to 50 percent; and
- An 8 percent increase in the number of schools in the QSP with indigenous students – from 7 to 15 percent.
“For this three-year stage, the support of the World Bank will serve to strengthen equity strategies for resource distribution, in order to reach schools located in remote communities, showing greater needs and educational lag; with this opportunity, we intend to expand the quality schools program and improve it based on the institution’s global experience,” said Daniel Hernández Ruiz, National Coordinator for the Quality Schools Program.
Through this operation, the WB supports Mexico, particularly the Secretary of Public Education (SEP, in Spanish), in its effort to improve information systems, develop new objectives and prioritization mechanisms, as well as enhancing social participation in the decision-making process of schools, through a more inclusive educational system.In order to achieve these objectives, the WB seeks to promote an educational and administrative autonomy model based on schools that emphasize freedom to decide; shared leadership; team work; flexible learning practices; participative planning; evaluations for continuous improvement; responsible social participation; and accountability.
The WB has been supporting the QSP since 2005 through a collaborative scheme conceived from the beginning as flexible and long term, as required by the educational system’s reform process. The package includes consultancy and financial services. The total amount of financing required by the second stage is US$366.7 million, of which the WB will contribute US$220 million and the government counterpart US$146.7 million.
The organization responsible for implementing this loan is the SEP, which designated Nacional Financiera (NAFIN) as financial agent. This is a flexible, fixed-term loan denominated in US dollars, with an 18-year maturity period. The entire sum will be disbursed in a single exhibition on December 15, 2027. The opening fee has been agreed at 0.25% of the total amount. The project is expected to end on June 30, 2013.