DHAKA, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank has approved 510 million U.S. dollars in a loan to help improve the secondary education system and students' performance in Bangladesh.
The Transforming Secondary Education for Results program will benefit 13 million students in grade 6-12, the Washington-based lender said in a statement on Tuesday.
The program will enhance quality of teaching and learning as well as improve the access to education, especially for girls and children from poor households, it said, adding that the program will support modernization of curriculum and ensure professional development, management and accountability of teachers.
The program will also support learning assessments and reform examinations.
"In 1993, the World Bank started supporting the secondary education sector through an innovative and a globally renowned stipend project that dramatically increased girls' enrollment. Today, Bangladesh is among a few low and low middle-income countries to achieve gender parity in secondary education," said Qimiao Fan, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
The secondary education sector faces several challenges in Bangladesh. Less than 70 percent children in primary schools continue to secondary level, and below 60 percent complete grade 10. Further, many students fare below the required standard in key subjects like Mathematics, Bangla and English.
To increase school completion rates, especially for girls and poor children, the program will support stipends and school grants. Further more, it will pilot an adolescent girls' program to motivate girls to complete schooling.
"The rural schools often suffer from a shortage of qualified teachers, particularly in English, Mathematics, and Science subjects," said Saurav Dev Bhatta, World Bank Co-Team Leader for the project. "The program will help attract, develop, and retain qualified teachers. It will recruit and provide pre-deployment training to the new teachers."