Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Government and World Bank sign $120 million concessional loan financing agreement and $19.7 million grant agreement to strengthen school sector

The government and the World Bank today signed a financing agreement for $120 million concessional loan from the International Development Association (IDA) and a grant agreement for $19.7 million from the Global Partnership for Education for the School Sector Transformation Programme (SSTP) Operation, which support the implementation of the government’s flagship School Education Sector Plan.

The agreement was signed by finance secretary Arjun Prasad Pokharel and the World Bank country director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos at the Finance Ministry.

The operation focuses on improving foundational skills by implementing the national integrated curriculum in early grades, a press note issued by the World Bank reads. "The operation supports the government’s programme through the development and implementation of the Recovery and Accelerated Learning Plan to address learning losses as a result of school closures due to Covid-19 and other disasters, strengthening teaching and learning in the classrooms, construction of green and resilient classrooms, ensuring minimum enabling conditions such as qualified teacher, child-friendly taps and seating, and toilets in the early childhood education development centers, and strengthening digital teaching and learning materials, among others," it reads, adding that the operation also envisions improving the equity of the school sector by supporting girls, disabled students, and those of lower socio-economic status, through targeted scholarships programmes.

“I am hopeful that the reform agenda envisioned in the School Sector Transformation Programme will be instrumental in increasing equitable access and improving the quality of education, which are critical for human capital development,” said finance secretary Pokharel after signing the agreement.

“The School Sector Transformation Programme operation supports the government of Nepal’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) agenda by investing in quality and equitable access to education, which is key to developing human capital and fostering inclusive and resilient growth,” said World Bank country director for Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad-Zervos, after signing the pact.

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