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Friday, March 19, 2010

World Bank provides $1.05 bn to improve education in India

Designed to boost the number of children enrolling in and completing elementary school, and to improve the quality of engineering education across India, the World Bank has approved two education projects worth $1.05 billion.

The World Bank has supported Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a nationwide programme aiming to provide quality elementary education to all children, with two International Development Association (IDA) credits totaling 1.1 billion since 2003, a media report said.

"SSA, now largest ongoing Education for All (EFA) programme in the world, has been remarkably successful, particularly in achieving greater access to elementary education," Roberto Zagha, World Bank Country Director for India said.

The $750 million in additional financing for the Second Elementary Education Project approved yesterday by the Bank will enable SSA to expand activities related to increased access at upper primary level (grades 5-8), increase elementary level completion rates, and improve learning outcomes for the full elementary cycle (grades 1-8).

The programme is expanding its efforts to enable the hardest-to-reach children to attend school. These include provision of teachers and the establishment, construction and extension of primary and upper primary schools and classrooms in districts where access is still an issue.

The $300 million for the Second Technical/Engineering Education Quality Improvement Project (TEQIP) will support some 200 competitively selected engineering education institutions to produce higher quality and more employable engineers.

It will also scale up post-graduate education, research, development and innovation at these institutions. TEQIP is also a partnership with the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and this is the second phase of an envisioned 15-year phased programme initiated with the first phase of TEQIP from 2002 to 2009, the Bank said.

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