WB/El Salvador: Better quality education for 41,000 young Salvadorans in 29 municipalities

December 13, 2011

Project will improve teaching-learning conditions in 482 public schools

WASHINGTON, December 13, 2011 – More than 41,000 secondary students in El Salvador will have access to better quality education as a result of a US$60 million project approved today by the World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors.

The “Education Quality Improvement Project” will assist public schools in 29 municipalities in adopting the Inclusive Full Time School (IFTS) model, in order to increase access, retention and graduation rates for secondary students.

A key component of the project, to be implemented by the Ministry of Education (MINED) in five years, is the improvement of educational conditions in 482 public schools. This includes support for renovation, furnishings and construction of learning facilities; investing in the acquisition of educational materials and equipment for classrooms, laboratories, libraries and teachers; assisting in the production of training materials and the acquisition of equipment for recreation, sports, art, culture and civic education; and supporting the extension of the teaching schedule from 30 to 50 class hours per week in 201 schools.

More than 41,000 students in lower and upper secondary education will benefit from better learning conditions and an extended school schedule. Also, 2,334 full-time teachers will update their skills through training and professional development programs. As part of the construction of educational infrastructure, 723 new classrooms will be built.

“A priority for President Mauricio Funes’ government is the transformation of public education, with an emphasis on inclusion. The Educational Social Program ‘Let’s Go to School’, through the Inclusive Full Time School, will help enhance educational quality and inclusion of economically disadvantaged students, by providing them with a safe teaching-learning environment, stimulating learning experiences and teaching that is responsive to their developmental needs,”  said Eduardo Badía, Vice Minister of Education of El Salvador.

In El Salvador, school dropout behavior accelerates when students are 13 years old, putting lower and upper secondary students at higher risk. To address this problem, as well as repetition and poor learning outcomes, the Inclusive Full Time School (IFTS) model involves an extensive pedagogical reform, incorporating academic and extra-curricular activities and extending the school day from 25 to 40 hours a week for secondary education. 

The IFTS model also focuses on developing a new school governance in order to focus on student outcomes and support the goals of improving student retention and quality, as well as to achieve broader accountability, transparency and efficiency.

“El Salvador has made great progress in extending coverage in primary education and is focusing its efforts on improving completion of secondary education. This project supports those efforts and complements other government social programs backed by the World Bank, such as the Temporary Income Support Program and the Strengthening Public Health Care System Project, in promoting opportunities for all Salvadorans,” said Felipe Jaramillo, World Bank Director for Central America.

The project also aims to strengthen MINED’s institutional capacity for policy-making, planning, implementation and monitoring, and to improve the schooling system’s governance in support of the adoption of the IFTS model.

The US$60 million loan for the “Education Quality Improvement Project” has a 30-year maturity and a 5-year grace period.

Media Contacts
In Washington D.C.
Marcela Sanchez-Bender
Tel : (202) 473-5863
In Central America
Cesar Leon
Tel : (502) 2329-8000