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WB/Mexico: Improvements in Upper Secondary Education Continue, Reaching More Than 4 Million Students

December 16, 2013

WASHINGTON, December 16, 2013 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved a today a development policy loan (DPL) in the amount of US$301 million. This is the third in a series of loans that seeks to support the Mexican government’s goal of improving the efficiency and quality of Upper Secondary Education (EMS, in Spanish), reaching more than four million students.

This loan supports the implementation of the Integral Upper Secondary Education Reform (RIEMS, in Spanish), which covers the years prior to college education, depending on the system where students are  enrolled.

“We support the Mexican government’s efforts to secure the universalization of Upper Secondary Education for the 2012-2022 school period”, said Gloria M. Grandolini, World Bank Director for Mexico and Colombia. “A quality education is the foundation not only of a brighter future for the young, but a fundamental part of the country’s growth engine. The quality and access to education must be everyone’s right”.

The project supports activities in three general areas:

  • Improving flexibility of Upper Secondary Education to facilitate the transfer of students among and across the different systems in Mexico.
  •  Enhancing quality of the National Upper Secondary Education System.
  • Reduce the opportunity cost of Upper Secondary Education by awarding scholarships to vulnerable students that belong to households with incomes not necessarily below the poverty line

The supported activities will contribute to reduce the school’s drop-out rate and will promote the graduation of better-prepared students with the skills needed to be part of a modern labor force.

The first loan of this series helped establishing the National Upper Secondary Education System by establishing minimum quality standards, as well as an evaluation and certification system, and a teacher’s training program. The second loan helped to continue the reform process and to strengthen key institutions. The third loan approved today supports, among other outstanding issues, the constitutional amendment rendering upper secondary education mandatory.

These series of loans has led to the following main results:

  • The implementation of a new skills-based curriculum that benefits 3.5 million students.
  • A total of 658 schools evaluated for accreditation which have gained entrance to the National Upper Secondary Education System.
  • The government continues with the timely publication of the student assessment results.
  • Through agreements with federal and state authorities, various programs to combat school dropout have been put into practice.

Once the reform is finally implemented, it is expected that the EMS will contribute to increase gross enrollment and graduation rates among the bottom 40 percent of the population, helping to raise the incomes of the poorest two quintiles at the same rate as the overall national average.

Moreover, the reform supported by the World Bank primarily targets public schools, where the great majority of disadvantage students are enrolled. Therefore, while the reform should bring higher quality services to all students, students from public schools with relatively more disadvantaged backgrounds, will benefit more than their peers in private schools.

This project is aligned with the new Mexico Country Partnership Strategy and is an integral part of the technical cooperation, advisory and convening services offered by the World Bank to improve the performance of Mexico’s educational system.

The first two DPLs of this series were in the amount of US$700 million in 2010 and US$300.71 million in 2012. This DPL in the amount of US$300.75 million is a flexible loan with a variable spread and a  bullet repayment on November 1, 2021.


Media Contacts
In Washington
Stevan Jackson
Tel : (202) 458-5054
In Mexico City
Fernanda Zavaleta
Tel : (5255) 54804200