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More Classrooms plus Better Trained Teachers equal Better Education for Grenada

April 16, 2013

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Students from St. Paul’s Government School in Grenada

Nazumi Takeda, World Bank

Between 2004 and 2011, Grenada improved both the equity of access and quality of its secondary education program. With Bank support, the project successfully expanded secondary schools with the addition of 420 school places, increased enrollment in three underserved areas by an average of 10 percentage points, provided instructional materials, trained counselors and teachers, and helped to increase the Caribbean Examinations Council pass rates by 6 percentage points.

Challenge

Access to education in Grenada was inequitable with transition rates to secondary education in the three underserved parishes averaging 51 percent. The quality of secondary education was deficient, teachers’ qualifications were poor, and instructional materials were not sufficient to support student-centered learning approaches.  Some secondary schools were overcrowded. Student violence in schools contributed to high dropout rates.

Solution

The project supported the priorities identified in the Strategic Plan for Education and Development, which sought to achieve universal secondary coverage.  The plan focused on improving the quality of learning, in particular in the areas of literacy and numeracy. It also concentrated on school improvement through construction and rehabilitation of education infrastructure following Hurricane Ivan, as well as student-led school improvement projects.


Results

The project contributed to improved equity of access and quality of secondary education. Key outcomes included:

  • Improvement of transition rates to secondary education in the proportion of students sitting Common Entrance Examinations in the three underserved parishes by an average of 10 percentage points between 2004 and 2008.         
  • Improvement in the proportion of students passing at least five subjects (including Mathematics and English) at the Caribbean Examinations Council from 13 percent in 2004 to 19 percent in 2008.
  • Introduction of a new curriculum policy, which is better aligned with the Caribbean Examinations Council, and meets the diversified learning needs of students.
  • Improvement of the availability of textbooks and other instructional materials for 3,000 students.
  • Placement of trained counselors and peers counselors in all secondary schools leading to reduced school violence and improved attendance based on information from focus group discussions with counselors, school principals and education officers.
  • Improvement of educational resources (including reading materials, work books and instructional DVDs) to enhance the teaching of numeracy and literacy at the primary level to ensure better preparation for secondary education through provision of heavy duty printers and personal computers for the Ministry of Education Materials Production Unit.

" I now love math and reading. "

Student from St. Paul’s Government School

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Grenada Education Development Project Peer Counselors

Nazumi Takeda, World Bank

Bank Group Contribution

The Bank provided funding of US$8 million (US$4 million IDA and US$4 million IBRD) in 2004. In 2008, an additional US$1.9 million grant was provided to allow for implementation of activities that had been curtailed when funds were reallocated to address the emergency rehabilitation following the passage of Hurricane Ivan. 

Partners

Close collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), during design helped to provide funding for a number of the quality enhancing activities. Bank funding was complemented by US$10 million from the European Commission.

Moving Forward

The project reiterates Government commitment to reforms and initiatives addressed under the project, many of which have been institutionalized under the strong leadership of the Ministry of Education.  Grenada continues to participate actively in the review of the Education Strategy by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), which will guide future development of education in the region.  Grenada is also addressing the challenges of school infrastructure maintenance through a monthly subvention to schools. 

Beneficiaries

Around 2,000 students benefited from the increased number of schools and set-up of school shades and canteens. Teachers benefited from training in literacy and numeracy and the increased availability of resources. Students developed a greater interest in mathematics and reading. One student from St. Paul’s Government School enthused “I now love math and reading.”

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2,000 students
benefited from the increased number of schools and set-up of school shades and canteens