The World Bank said Sunday that its Board of Executive Directors approved a $ 500 million loan (approximately Rs 3.7 crore) to improve the quality and governance of school education in six Indian states.
The board approved a loan to Strengthen the State Teaching-Learning and Outcomes Program (STARS) on June 24, 2020, the World Bank said in a statement.
“About 250 million students (ages 6 to 17) in 1.5 million schools and more than 10 million teachers will benefit from the program. The STARS program is based on the longstanding partnership between India and the World Bank (since 1994), to strengthen public school education and support the country’s goal of providing Education for All, “he said.
Prior to STARS, the bank had provided total assistance of more than $ 3 billion for this goal.
At the national level, through Samagra Shiksha, and in association with the states of Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, and Rajasthan, he said, STARS will also help improve learning assessment systems, strengthen instruction in classroom and remediation, facilitate the transition from school to work and strengthen governance and decentralized management.
India recognizes the need to significantly improve its learning outcomes to drive future growth and meet the demands of the labor market, said World Bank Country Director for India Junaid Ahmad.
“STARS will support India’s response to this challenge by strengthening implementation at the local level, investing in a teaching capacity, and ensuring that no child of any background is left behind the right to education,” he said.
Investing more in the early years of education will equip children with the skills necessary to compete for jobs in the future, he added.
The multilateral funding agency noted that India, over the years, has made significant progress in improving access to education across the country; Between 2004-05 and 2018-19, the number of children attending school increased from 219 million to 248 million.
However, student learning outcomes in all age groups continue to remain below par.
The $ 500 million loans from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) has a final maturity of 14.5 years, including a five-year grace period.