US$300 Million World Bank Credit to Improve Primary Education Quality for More Than 16.5 Million Children in Bangladesh

August 25, 2011

WASHINGTON, August 25, 2011 — The World Bank today approved a US$300 million credit for the Third Primary Education Development Program (PEDP III) to support primary education in Bangladesh. There are 16.5 million children currently enrolled in primary level education, the result of impressive gains in access in recent years.  Currently only 60 percent of children enrolled complete grades 1-5 in five years and only 44 percent of these go onto secondary school. The Government of Bangladesh is focusing on achieving higher educational results by improving teaching skills and focusing on quality education.

“The World Bank has been a longstanding partner of Bangladesh in taking forward the Government’s ‘Education for all’ agenda,” said Ellen Goldstein, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh. “We are now working with the Government to improve the quality and participation levels in primary education, focusing on results.  Indeed, the disbursement of funds will reflect the success of efforts, representing a major step forward in our way of doing business in Bangladesh. “

The project aims at ensuring merit-based teacher recruitment and improving teacher education; delivering textbooks to no fewer than 90 percent of primary schools within the first month of the start of the school year; effectively use school level grants; adequately finance sector budget; creating needs based infrastructure development; measuring student learning; developing a competency-based national primary completion examination. The PEDP III aims to increase net enrollment to 98 percent and primary completion rates to 65 percent by 2015.

Building upon the success of the first and second Primary Education Development Programs, PEDP III stands out for its new way of doing business with a results–based approach. Clear targets have been set and agreed between the Government and all development partners.

For the first time disbursements are linked to performance. Initiatives are being put in place to improve quality and to upgrade monitoring and evaluation systems.  The Bank is also supporting the Government’s governance, accountability, and fiscal management efforts.

“The project is developed with full ownership of the Government in partnership with the World Bank and the other development partners,” said Susan Opper and Ayesha Vawda, Project Team Leaders. “Rigorous monitoring and evaluation processes, including third party validations, have been built into the PEDPIII design.”

Along with the World Bank, eight other development partners have indicated their commitment to support the Government’s PEDP III, the cost for the first four years is an estimated US$5.89 billion. Of this, the total development partner contributions will be US$909.4 million.

The credit is from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm. The credit carries a 0.75% service charge, a maturity of 40 years, including a 10 year grace period.

Media Contacts
In Washington
Alison Reeves
Tel : (202) 473-8955
In Dhaka
Mehrin Mahbub
Tel : (880-2) 8159001