WASHINGTON DC, October 11, 2014 – The Government of Myanmar, signed a new agreement with the World Bank Group and the Government of Australia aimed at helping millions of Myanmar students benefit from quality education.
The Decentralizing Funding to School Project is financed by a US$80 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA) and US$20 million in grants from the Government of Australia through the Myanmar Partnership Multi-Donor Trust Fund, will improve and expand the Myanmar Government’s School Grants Program and Student Stipends Program.
An estimated 8.2 million students from the poor, rural areas in Myanmar will benefit from better-financed schools and more than 100,000 poor students will receive financial support to attend classes through this project. The project provides direct support to the Ministry of Education to expand funding for the national schools grants program that benefits all schools under the Ministry of Education, and a student stipends program that will focus on 40 townships. The project will also strengthen the Ministry’s capacity to monitor and implement these programs.
“A better education benefits everybody – children, families, communities and the country. School grants, and stipends for poor students, will help more children attend and learn at school. Australia is pleased to respond to Myanmar’s request to improve and expand these important programs”, said Bronte Moules, Australia's Ambassador to Myanmar.
By the age of 10, nearly 20 percent of children belonging to the poorest quintile in Myanmar leave school, compared with only a few percent of children belonging to the richest quintile do so. This project will contribute to important longer-term goals in Myanmar’s education sector. Most importantly, improving the school grants and stipends programs will strengthen the ability of the Ministry of Education to provide a quality education for all citizens by helping to ensure that more students will stay in school longer.
“Giving all of Myanmar’s children the opportunity of a good education is essential for Myanmar. The Government’s program for decentralized funding of schools will help improve education across Myanmar, delivering visible benefits to its people by improving quality of teaching and providing children with better opportunities in life. The World Bank Group is pleased to offer its strong support to this project”, said Mr. Ulrich Zachau, Country Director of the World Bank for Southeast Asia.
The US$80 million IDA credit in support of education sector of Myanmar is part of the World Bank Group’s rapidly growing program support for the country. During his visit to Myanmar at the end of January 2014, President Jim Yong Kim announced plans by the World Bank Group’s for a $2 billion multi-year development package for Myanmar. This will include projects to help improve agriculture, access to energy and health services, and to provide support for other key development priorities.