WASHINGTON, June 26, 2023—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $300 million loan to help expand and improve the quality of education in government-run schools in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh. The project aims to benefit about 4 million students, mostly from poor and vulnerable communities in the state.
Almost 86 percent of schools in the state are run by the government. While enrolment at the elementary school level is 95 percent, it is only 57.6 percent at the senior secondary level and the enrolment for boys is 10.8 percent lower than that for girls. This is due to the non-availability of science and commerce education across many senior secondary schools, a shortage of trained science and mathematics teachers, and the lack of necessary infrastructure like laboratories and facilities. Students from remote locations also face a problem with accommodation. While girls have residential school facilities under the centrally sponsored Samagra Shiksha program, there is no such scheme for boys.
The Chhattisgarh Accelerated Learning for a Knowledge Economy Operation (CHALK) aims to improve access to education across all grades, and also address the growing demand for science and commerce studies at the senior secondary level. For schools at remote locations, it will also provide access to residential facilities for male students and teachers.
The project will help develop and operate around 600 model composite schools – from Grades 1 to 12 – and offer science and commerce at senior secondary level. These schools will provide quality education through trained teachers, strong school leadership and management, and adequate infrastructure facilities for learning. The support will also include climate-proofing school infrastructure using environmentally sound construction practices.
“The project will help expand the network of government-managed schools offering science and commerce education at the senior secondary level,” said Auguste Tano Kouame, World Bank Country Director in India. “This will help prepare students to benefit from the emerging employment opportunities in the fast-growing manufacturing and services sectors in Chhattisgarh.”
The teacher training initiatives under the project will help enhance the quality of teaching-learning interactions in classrooms to improve student learning levels. More than 175,000 teachers are expected to receive in-service professional development support under the project. Teachers will be provided with access to student-specific remedial educational resources based on a system of periodic school-based learning assessments.
“Building on a strong government program that is making credible gains towards recovering from learning losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the project will provide teachers and school management with access to professional development support. It will also strengthen the existing system of school-based assessments to enable remedial education support to students,” said Kartik Pental, Shobhana Sosale, and Supriti Dua, team leaders for the project.
The $300 million loan from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) uses the Program-for-Results (PforR) financing instrument that links disbursement of funds directly to the achievement of specific program results. The loan has a maturity of 18.5 years with a grace period of 5 years.