KATHMANDU, June 1: The government and the World Bank (WB) on Wednesday signed a financing agreement for $120 million concessional loan from the International Development Association and a grant agreement for $19.7 million from the Global Partnership for Education for the operation of the School Sector Transformation Program (SSTP).
The support of the international lending institution will be targeted to support the implementation of the government’s flagship School Education Sector Plan. Finance Secretary Arjun Prasad Pokharel and the WB’s Country Director for the Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka Faris Hadad- Zervos, inked the agreement to this effect.
According to a press statement issued by the WB on Wednesday, the SSTP focuses on improving foundational skills by implementing the national integrated curriculum in early grades. The operation supports the government’s program 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 pandemic and other disasters.
In addition, the program also targets for strengthening teaching and learning in the classrooms, construction of green and resilient classrooms, ensuring minimum enabling conditions such as qualified teachers, child-friendly taps and seating, and toilets in the early childhood education development centers, and strengthening digital teaching and learning materials, among others. 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 programs.
Finance Secretary Pokharel said the SSTP will be instrumental in increasing equitable access and improving the quality of education, which are critical for human capital development.
According to the WB’s Country Director Faris Hadad-Zervos, the SSTP operation supports the government’s Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) agenda by investing in quality and equitable access to education, which is a key to developing human capital and fostering inclusive and resilient growth.